Stellar Occultations by turbulent planetary atmospheres: A wave-optical theory including a finite scale height

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Abstract

A generalized wave-optical theory of stellar occultations by a turbulent planetary atmosphere is developed. The finite scale height of the atmosphere is retained for the first time. It is found that the finite scale height of the atmosphere affects the scintillations observed during the occultation in a number of ways which are most easily understood in terms of an effective Fresnel scale. We demonstrate the validity of a phase-changing screen approximation for occultation by a turbulent atmosphere in parameter ranges of general interest. Using this approximation various statistical properties of the fluctuating intensity are calculated explicitly. We present expressions for the total scintillation power, correlation function of the intensity, the cross-correlation at two frequencies, and its application to refractivity determinations. All of these expressions are given as a function of occultation depth and of parameters of the mean atmosphere and turbulence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-395
Number of pages22
JournalIcarus
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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