Peering through Jupiter's clouds with radio spectral imaging

Imke De Pater, R. J. Sault, Bryan Butler, David DeBoer, Michael H. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Radio wavelengths can probe altitudes in Jupiter's atmosphere below its visible cloud layers. We used the Very Large Array to map this unexplored region down to ∼8 bar, ∼100 kilometers below the visible clouds. Our maps reveal a dynamically active planet at pressures less than 2 to 3 bar. A radio-hot belt exists, consisting of relatively transparent regions (a low ammonia concentration, NH3 being the dominant source of opacity) probing depths to over ∼8 bar; these regions probably coincide with 5-micrometer hot spots. Just to the south we distinguish an equatorial wave, bringing up ammonia gas from Jupiter's deep atmosphere. This wave has been theorized to produce the 5-micrometer hot spots; we observed the predicted radio counterpart of such hot spots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1198-1201
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume352
Issue number6290
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2016

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