Spatially resolved methane band photometry of Jupiter. III. Cloud vertical structures for several axisymmetric bands and the Great Red Spot

Robert A. West, Martin G. Tomasko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present cloud structure models for Jupiter's Great Red Spot, Equatorial Zone, North Tropical Zone, North and South Temperate Zones, North and South Polar Regions, and North and South Polar Hoods. The models are based on images of Jupiter in three methane bands (between 6190 and 8900 Å) and nearby continuum. Radiative transfer calculations include multiple scattering and absorption from three aerosol layers, the topmost of which is a high thin haze and the lower two are called clouds. All models are computed relative to a similar model for the South Tropical Zone which fits methane absorption data and Pioneer photometry data well. Outstanding features suggested by the model results are the transition in the upper-cloud altitude to about 3 km lower altitude from the tropical zones to temperate zones and polar regions, a N/S asymmetry in cloud thickness in the tropical and temperate zones, the presence of aerosols up to about 0.3 bar in the Great Red Spot and Equatorial Zone, the need for a significant (τ ∼ 0.75 to 1.0) aerosol content in this region in the Equatorial Zone, and perhaps an even higher and thicker cloud in the South Polar Hood. The haze layer above both polar hoods may exhibit different scattering properties than the haze which covers lower latitudes. In comparing the present results with models derived from polarization and infrared observations we conclude that polarization data are sensitive to aerosols in and above the upper cloud layer but insensitive to deeper cloud structure, and the converse is true for infrared data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-292
Number of pages15
JournalIcarus
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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