The rotation period of Neptune's upper atmosphere

R. Hamilton Brown, Dale P. Cruikshank, Alan T. Tokunaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Significant variations in the near-infrared brightness of Neptune during July and August 1980 were observed. These observations show a well-defined, large-amplitude variation in Neptune's J-K color, with a period of 17.73 ± 0.1 hr and are interpreted as diurnal variations resulting from the 17.73-hr rotation period of the upper atmosphere of Neptune in the presence of inhomogeneous weather. These results qualitatively corroborate those of D. P. Cruikshank (1978, Astrophys. J. 220, L57-L59) in an earlier study using similar techniques. In addition, variations were observed in the 5-μm spectral region which are in phase with the variations seen at shorter wavelengths. A new 5-μm measurement of Uranus is also reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
JournalIcarus
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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