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A. A. Simon-Miller (NASA's GSFC), B. W. Poston (UMD), G. S. Orton (JPL)
Jupiter's equatorial atmosphere, much like the Earth's, is known to show quasi-periodic variations in temperature, particularly in the stratosphere. On the Earth, one can see this variation in a number of stratospheric tracers: temperature, winds and chemical species, such as ozone. However, it is difficult to directly observe the jovian stratosphere outside of the thermal infrared or ultraviolet due to lack of visible clouds. Recent attempts have been made to search for this type of signal in more readily observable regions of Jupiter's atmosphere using Hubble Space Telescope data taken over many years and in a number of filters. Initially, tropospheric winds were analyzed and this preliminary work indicated some intriguing correlations to temperature variations at a few of the searched locations. Subsequently, apparent changes in the atmospheric vertical structure were analyzed by using brightness scans at a variety of wavelengths sensitive to different altitudes: 410-nm (tropospheric hazes), 255-nm (stratospheric hazes), 889-nm (upper tropospheric clouds) and 953-nm (tropospheric cloud deck). Results from these analyses are presented here and are compared with seasonal timescales and the expected wind variation predicted by the thermal wind equation.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.