Non-Detection of Hydrogen Cyanide on Jupiter

Bruno Bézard, Caitlin Griffith, John Lacy, Tobias Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

High spectral resolution observations of Jupiter performed at the NASA/Infrared Telescope Facility near 13.5 μm are presented. Two spectral ranges including the R(7) and R(11) lines of the v2 band of HCN were observed at high signal-to-noise. No evidence for HCN absorption in excess of 2% of the continuum was found, in contrast to the report by Tokunaga et al . (1981, Icarus 48, 283-289). An upper limit on the tropospheric HCN mixing ratio of 1 × 10-9 was derived, assuming a uniform value up to the tropopause. When HCN condensation in the upper troposphere is taken into account, only a looser upper limit around 1.2 × 10-8 can be set on the deep mixing ratio. The lack of emission cores at the position of the HCN lines provides an upper limit of 2 × 10-4 cm-amagat on the HCN column density in the stratosphere (corresponding to a maximum average mixing ratio of 8 × 10-10 above condensation level). A critical reanalysis of Tokunaga et al.'s observations is finally presented, leading to the conclusion that the previously reported detection of HCN is questionable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-391
Number of pages8
JournalIcarus
Volume118
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes

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hydrocyanic acid
cyanide
mixing ratios
Jupiter (planet)
mixing ratio
Jupiter
hydrogen
condensation
infrared telescopes
tropopause
stratosphere
troposphere
spectral resolution
continuums
high resolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Non-Detection of Hydrogen Cyanide on Jupiter. / Bézard, Bruno; Griffith, Caitlin; Lacy, John; Owen, Tobias.

In: Icarus, Vol. 118, No. 2, 12.1995, p. 384-391.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bézard, B, Griffith, C, Lacy, J & Owen, T 1995, 'Non-Detection of Hydrogen Cyanide on Jupiter', Icarus, vol. 118, no. 2, pp. 384-391. https://doi.org/10.1006/icar.1995.1198
Bézard, Bruno ; Griffith, Caitlin ; Lacy, John ; Owen, Tobias. / Non-Detection of Hydrogen Cyanide on Jupiter. In: Icarus. 1995 ; Vol. 118, No. 2. pp. 384-391.
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AB - High spectral resolution observations of Jupiter performed at the NASA/Infrared Telescope Facility near 13.5 μm are presented. Two spectral ranges including the R(7) and R(11) lines of the v2 band of HCN were observed at high signal-to-noise. No evidence for HCN absorption in excess of 2% of the continuum was found, in contrast to the report by Tokunaga et al . (1981, Icarus 48, 283-289). An upper limit on the tropospheric HCN mixing ratio of 1 × 10-9 was derived, assuming a uniform value up to the tropopause. When HCN condensation in the upper troposphere is taken into account, only a looser upper limit around 1.2 × 10-8 can be set on the deep mixing ratio. The lack of emission cores at the position of the HCN lines provides an upper limit of 2 × 10-4 cm-amagat on the HCN column density in the stratosphere (corresponding to a maximum average mixing ratio of 8 × 10-10 above condensation level). A critical reanalysis of Tokunaga et al.'s observations is finally presented, leading to the conclusion that the previously reported detection of HCN is questionable.

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