Deuterated methane observed on Saturn

Uwe - Fink, Harold P. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Absorptions for the v2 band of deuterated methane (CH 3D) have been observed in the 5-micron spectrum of Saturn, obtained with a Fourier transform spectrometer. Analysis of the band yields a CH 3D abundance of 2.6 ± 0.8 centimeter-amagat and a temperature of 175 ± 30 K for the mean level of spectroscopic line formation. This temperature indicates that a substantial portion of Saturn's flux at 5 microns is due to thermal radiation, and that we are therefore looking fairly deep into its atmosphere, as is the case for the Jupiter 5-micron window. This CH 3D abundance leads to a deuterium/hydrogen ratio of about 2 × 10-5 in Saturn's atmosphere. This ratio is much lower than the terrestrial value but comparable to that determined for Jupiter and may be taken as representative of the deuterium/hydrogen ratio in the solar system at the time of its formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-345
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume201
Issue number4353
StatePublished - 1978

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Saturn
methane
methylidyne
Jupiter (planet)
deuterium
Saturn atmosphere
thermal radiation
hydrogen
solar system
spectrometers
atmospheres
temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Fink, U. ., & Larson, H. P. (1978). Deuterated methane observed on Saturn. Science, 201(4353), 343-345.

Deuterated methane observed on Saturn. / Fink, Uwe -; Larson, Harold P.

In: Science, Vol. 201, No. 4353, 1978, p. 343-345.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fink, U & Larson, HP 1978, 'Deuterated methane observed on Saturn', Science, vol. 201, no. 4353, pp. 343-345.
Fink U, Larson HP. Deuterated methane observed on Saturn. Science. 1978;201(4353):343-345.
Fink, Uwe - ; Larson, Harold P. / Deuterated methane observed on Saturn. In: Science. 1978 ; Vol. 201, No. 4353. pp. 343-345.
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