The altitude of an infrared bright cloud feature on Neptune from near-infrared spectroscopy

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dc.contributor.author Roe, Henry en_US
dc.contributor.author Graham, James en_US
dc.contributor.author McLean, Ian en_US
dc.contributor.author de Pater, Imke en_US
dc.contributor.author Becklin, Eric en_US
dc.contributor.author Figer, Donald en_US
dc.contributor.author Gilbert, Andrea en_US
dc.contributor.author Larkin, James en_US
dc.contributor.author Levenson, Nancy en_US
dc.contributor.author Teplitz, Harry en_US
dc.contributor.author Wilcox, Mavourneen en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2006-06-09T19:01:13Z en_US
dc.date.available 2006-06-09T19:01:13Z en_US
dc.date.issued 2001-08 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Astronomical Journal 122N2 (2001) 1023-1029 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1538-3881 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1850/1981 en_US
dc.description Also archived in: arXiv:astro-ph/0107361 v1 19 Jul 2001 en_US
dc.description.abstract We present 2.03-2.30 µm near-infrared spectroscopy of Neptune taken 1999 June 2 (UT) with the W.M. Keck Observatory’s near-infrared spectrometer (NIRSPEC) during the commissioning of the instrument. The spectrum is dominated by a bright cloud feature, possibly a storm or upwelling, in the southern hemisphere at approximately 50.◦S latitude. The spectrum also includes light from a dimmer northern feature at approximately 30.◦N latitude. We compare our spectra ( / 2000) of these two features with a simple model of Neptune’s atmosphere. Given our model assumption that the clouds are flat reflecting layers, we find that the top of the bright southern cloud feature sat at a pressure level of 0.14 +0.05 −0.03 bar, and thus this cloud did not extend into the stratosphere (P< 0.1 bar). A similar analysis of the dimmer northern feature gives a cloud-top pressure of 0.084±0.026 bar. This suggests that the features we observed efficiently transport methane to the base of the stratosphere, but do not directly transport methane to the upper stratosphere (P< 10−2 − 10−3 bar) where photolysis occurs. Our observations do not constrain how far these clouds penetrate down into the troposphere. We find that our model fits to the data restrict the fraction of H2 in ortho/para thermodynamic equilibrium to greater than 0.8. (Refer to PDF file for exact formulas). en_US
dc.description.sponsorship H.G.R. acknowledges support from a NASA GSRP grant funded through NASA Ames Research Center and a Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid-of-Research from the National Academy of Sciences, through Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. This work was partially supported by the Department of Energy under contract W-405-ENG-48 to the University of California Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. en_US
dc.format.extent 291191 bytes en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher University of Chicago Press: Astronomical Journal en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries vol. 122 en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries no. 2 en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries issue 1748 en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries pps. 1023-1029 en_US
dc.subject Infrared-solar system en_US
dc.subject Planets and satellites-Neptune en_US
dc.title The altitude of an infrared bright cloud feature on Neptune from near-infrared spectroscopy en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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