DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 40. Outer Planets/Gas Giants IV
Poster, Highlighted on, Friday, September 5, 2003, 3:30-6:00pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

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[40.27] Variations of the Methane Absorption Latitudinal Distribution on Jupiter in 1995-2003.

V.G. Tejfel, G.A. Kharitonova (Fessenkov Astrophysical Institute, Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan)

The latitudinal distribution of the molecular absorption on major planets may serve at the future planetary monitoring as one of useful observable indices of the time-variable global atmospheric state. We have analyzed the results of our CCD-spectrophotometric observations of Jupiter carried out during last nine years (1995-2003) to estimate temporal changes of that latitudinal variations of the absorption in the methane bands centered at 619, 725, 798 (CH4 + NH3), and 887 nm. Special observations in 1999 have shown [1,2] that the longitudinal variations of the absorption on Jupiter are not significant and lies within no more than about 0.01-0.02 in units of the central band depth Rv for majority of latitudes. Mostly expressed timing variations of absorption in1995-2003 were observed at low latitudes on Jupiter (NEB, EZ and SEB regions). In the light EZ the reduced absorption is a specific peculiarity but minimal values of Rv do not consist permanently with the albedo maximum and are shifted often to boundary between EZ and NEB. Other small depressions of the absorption may appear at temperate latitudes (30-40 deg) although at the altitudes about 50-60 deg the absorption may be the same as at15-20 deg or some smaller or higher values. Polar regions (from 60 deg) have strongly depleted absorption. The values of Rv do not show good correlations with albedo features in continuum. The amplitudes of time variations of Rv during 1995-2003 were no more than 0.05 for moderate absorption band 725 nm and less for other considered bands. Newertheless these variations from year to year are well visible on the latitudinal profiles of Rv and they are significantly more than the dispersion of measured values derived from spectra recorded at one night. The North-South hemispheric asymmetry of the absorption distribution on Jupiter is slightly noticeable in contrast with Saturn, where this asymmetry is strongly expressed [1,3].

References: [1] Tejfel V.G., et al.,Astron. & Astroph. Transactions, 2003, 22, 135, [2] Tejfel V.G, Bull. AAS, 2000, 32, 1007, [3] Tejfel V.G. Solar System Res., 1997, 31, 198.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: tejf@hotmail.com

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