31st Annual Meeting of the DPS, October 1999
Session 51. Outer Planet Atmospheres Posters
Poster Group II, Thursday-Friday, October 14, 1999, , Kursaal Center

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[51.11] Saturn's Atmospheric Structure from Visible and Near-IR Observations

N. Chanover (New Mexico State U.)

The vertical structure of Saturn's atmosphere is determined using an adding-doubling code to model observed center-to-limb brightness variations. The imaging data sets consist of a) Hubble Space Telescope WF/PC and WFPC2 images taken in continuum and narrow-band methane absorption filters, and b) near-IR (1--2.5 \mum) ground-based images taken in narrow-band methane and continuum filters with the Apache Point Observatory 3.5 meter telescope.

A standard two-cloud model is employed, in which layers of clear gas interleave a stratospheric haze layer, an ammonia cloud deck, and a lower, semi-infinite cloud deck. Our code, which has heretofore been used to characterize the Jovian atmosphere, has been modified to incorporate physical conditions more appropriate for Saturn. The global, longitudinally-averaged atmospheric structure as a function of latitude is discussed; vertical structure in anomalous convective regions will be presented elsewhere.

This work was funded by NASA Grant NAG5-7904. Additional support was provided by NASA through grant number AR-08363.01-97A from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.

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