37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 30 Outer Planets
Poster, Tuesday, September 6, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Lecture Room 5

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[30.29] Strange Latitudinal Variations of the Ammonia Absorption on Jupiter

V.G. Tejfel, A.M. Karimov, V.D. Vdovichenko (Fessenkov Astrophysical Institute, Alma-Ata,Kazakhstan)

The ammonia absorption bands at near infrared spectrum of Jupiter are blended with stronger methane absorption and it is hard to study their variations on planetary disk. To extract the ammonia absorption we have used the ratio of Jupiter's spectra to the spectrum of Saturn where the ammonia absorption is very small or absent. Thus we could measure the profile and equivalent widths (W) of the NH3 band at 787 nm as well as the weaker band at 643 nm . More than 200 spectra of Jupiter were recorded in March-May 2004 with spectrograph SGS and CCD-camera ST-7XE at the slit oriented along central meridian or equator. All spectra were processed by this mean. Equatorial spectra show more or less uniform decrease of the NH3 absorption towards both limbs from the disk center. But most of spectra of CM show strange and clearly expressed wide depression of the NH3 band at 787 nm in the temperate latitudes of Northern hemisphere with minimal equivalent widths about 15 A or less when W in Southern hemisphere reach of 20 A or more. We have analyzed all probable artificial reasons of this effect but did not find any influence of instrumental factors. Then we processed a number of Jupiter's spectra recorded in 1997-1998 with other spectrograph and CCD ST-6V and detected the same peculiarity. Finally there were measured 100 zonal spectra ( with slit oriented parallel to equator) scanned all Jupiter's disk from North pole to South pole and recorded 3 May 2005 near upper culmination of the planet. The result is the same: the significant depression of the ammonia absorption in the N-hemisphere of Jupiter is confirmed. We shall continue the study and analysis of this effect to be sure that it is real peculiarity of the gaseous ammonia distribution and behavior on Jupiter.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.