36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 18 Outer Planets
Poster I, Tuesday, November 9, 2004, 4:00-7:00pm, Exhibition Hall 1A

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[18.03] Search for Cyclopropenyl Ion Emissions in the Jovian Aurorae with IRTF/CSHELL Observations

K. D. Retherford, G. R. Gladstone, E. F. Young (Southwest Research Institute)

NASA IRTF/CSHELL observations of Jupiterís IR emissions in bandpass 3.18 - 3.21 \mu m were obtained to search for emissions from a molecular hydrocarbon ion - cyclopropenyl, c-C3H3+. The thermospheric abundance of this ion is unknown. The effects of auroral ion deposition on the chemistry of Jupiterís upper atmosphere were recently investigated by Gladstone et al. 2000, who found that the cyclopropenyl ion is a stable end product to the reactions that likely form soot and thus haze in Jupiterís stratosphere. Cyclopropenyl's role in auroral chemistry is therefore potentially important, yet poorly studied. Our spectroscopic search for molecular c-C3H3+ emissions were enabled by recent determination of the vibrational energy levels and IR intensity of this molecule. Two half nights of CSHELL observations on 7 - 8 December 2003 were used to obtain spatially resolved long slit spectra of northern and southern auroral regions with resolving power ~ 43,000 using a 0.5 arcsec wide by 30 arcsec long slit. Five H3+ emission lines in this spectral range were readily identified. We report results from our preliminary analysis.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.