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S.G. Gibbard (Lawrence Livermore National Lab), I. de Pater, S.C. Martin, H.G. Roe (UC Berkeley), B.A. Macintosh, C.E. Max (Lawrence Livermore National Lab)
We have obtained 2-micron spectra of Neptune using adaptive optics coupled to the NIRSPEC and NIRC2 spectrographs at the 10-meter W.M. Keck 2 Telescope. Spectra were obtained in June 2000 (NIRSPEC) and in August 2002 (NIRC2). The spatial resolving power of adaptive optics allows us to obtain spectra of individual features on the disk of Neptune at a spatial resolution of approximately 1000 km (0.05-0.06 arcseconds). These features include the north polar haze and bright features near the north pole as well as bright features in the southern hemisphere and small bright features in the solar polar region. Radiative transfer modeling allows us to determine the altitude of the various features and thus to obtain a 3-dimensional picture of the structure of Neptune's atmosphere.
This research was supported in part under the auspices of the US Department of Energy at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Univ. of Calif. under contract No. W-7405-Eng-48. Data presented herein were obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.