37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 20 Outer Planets I
Oral, Tuesday, September 6, 2005, 9:00-10:30am, Law LG19

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[20.06] Solar radiation in Saturn's atmosphere: maximum penetration and heating rates

S. Pérez-Hoyos, A. Sánchez-Lavega (Universidad del Pais Vasco)

We use our previous long-term study (1994-2004) of Saturn's upper clouds and hazes vertical structure (Pérez-Hoyos et al., Icarus, 176, 155, 2005), to retrieve the internal fields and penetration levels of optical radiation in the atmosphere (wavelengths from 250 nm to 950 nm). We have used a doubling adding radiative transfer code and assumed different vertical cloud structure models, as bounded by our previous photometric analysis and other works. We analyze the levels between 1 mbar to 6 bar taking into account the seasonal and ring-shadowing effects on insolation. The main result is that the expected maximum penetration level of the visual radiation on the upper hazes along Saturn's year is ~ 0.3 bar. Maps of the temporal and latitudinal distribution of the atmospheric heating rates are also presented. Our results provide realistic constraints on the available energy and vertical extent for general circulation -shallow- models for the giant planets based on the terrestrial circulation analogy. Acknowledgments: S.P.-H and A.S.-L. are supported by MCYT AYA2003-03216, fondos FEDER, and Grupos UPV 15946/2004. S.P.-H. acknowledges a PhD fellowship from the Spanish MEC.

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

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