Ground-Based Thermal-IR Spectroscopic Observations of Jupiter During the Galileo Encounter

P. V. Sada, D. Jennings, G. McCabe, D. Deming, G. Bjoraker

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High resolution spectroscopic observations of Jupiter at selected thermal-infrared wavelengths are scheduled to be performed using CELESTE, a Goddard-developed cryogenic echelle spectrometer. These observations will be carried out in conjunction with the McMath-Pierce 60-inch Solar Telescope (KPNO/NSO) during the inital encounter phase of the Galileo spacecraft with the planet. This arrangement was successfully used in 1994-95 to perform daytime observations of Jupiter close to the Sun. The planet will be located 9(deg) away from the Sun in the sky on 7 December 1995, the day Galileo's probe is scheduled to enter the atmosphere of the planet. Galileo's entry probe is programmed to shed its heat shield and start directly sampling the atmosphere of Jupiter at a pressure level of about 100 mbar. We plan to carry out observations of a complementary nature to those of the entry probe by using molecular species which better sample the stratosphere of Jupiter. These observations, in conjunction with those obtained by Galileo, will help characterize the state of the atmosphere of Jupiter at the time of the encounter. In particular we plan to observe the 587 cm(-1) S(1) quadrupole line of H2, which yields abundance-independent temperature information on the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere of Jupiter. We also plan to measure strong stratospheric emission features from molecules such as CH4, C2H6, and C2H2. These spectral observations will be used to retrieve temperature and species abundance information with some degree of spatial discrimination. Preliminary results from these observations will be presented. (1) National Research Council Resident Research Associate. (2) Hughes/STX.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Astronomical Society, 187th AAS Meeting
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1995


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