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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[51.02] Jovian cloud structure from 5-\mum images

J.L. Ortiz, F. Moreno, A. Molina (Inst. Astrofisica Andalucia), M. Roos-Serote (Lisbon Astron. Obs.), G.S. Orton (JPL)

Most radiative transfer studies place the cloud clearings responsible for the 5-\mum bright areas at pressure levels greater than 1.5 bar whereas the low-albedo clouds are placed at lower pressure levels, in the so-called ammonia cloud. If this picture is correct, and assuming that the strong vertical shear of the zonal wind detected by the Galileo Entry Probe exists at all latitudes in Jupiter, the bright areas at 5 \mum should drift faster than the dark clouds, which is not observed. At the Galileo Probe Entry latitude this can be explained by a wave, but this is not a likely explanation for all regions where the anticorrelation between 5-\mum brightness and red-nIR reflectivity is observed. Therefore, either the vertical zonal wind shears are not global or cloud clearings and dark clouds are located at the same pressure level. We have developed a multiple scattering radiative transfer code to model the limb-darkening at several jovian features derived from IRTF 4.8-\mum images, in order to retrieve information on the cloud levels. The limb darkening coefficients range from 1.4 at hot spots to 0.58 at the Equatorial Region. We also find that reflected light is dominant over thermal emission in the Equatorial Region, as already pointed out by other investigators. Preliminary results from our code tend to favor the idea that the ammonia cloud is a very high-albedo cloud with little influence on the contrast seen in the red and nIR and that a deeper cloud at P >1.5 bar can be responsible for the cloud clearings and for the low-albedo features simultaneously.

This research was supported by the Comision Interministerial de Ciencia y Tecnologia under contract ESP96-0623.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: ortiz@iaa.es

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