The Occultation of SAO 78505 by Jupiter

W. B. Hubbard, V. Haemmerle, C. C. Porco, G. H. Rieke, M. J. Rieke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

On 13 December 1989, Jupiter occulted a star with visual magnitude 8.7 and an estimated K magnitude of 7. We observed the event from Kitt Peak, Arizona, using a 64 × 64 infrared camera at a wavelength of 2.16 μm. The resulting data on refractive defocusing of the stellar signal give information on the temperature of the jovian atmosphere at pressures ∼2 to 10 μbar, at near-equatorial latitudes. These are the first new stellar-occultation data for the high jovian atmosphere since the widely observed occultation of β Sco A and C in 1971. Because of improvements in instrumental capability, our data are comparable to the best β Sco A data though the star is six magnitudes fainter. We derive a mean atmospheric temperature of 176 ± 12 K on a level surface corresponding to an equatorial radius of 71,880 km and a pressure of 1.8 μbar at a jovicentric latitude of 8°. This result complements the β Sco results by providing improved precision at low jovicentric latitudes where the fainter star β Sco C was used in 1971.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-109
Number of pages7
JournalIcarus
Volume113
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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