Temporally varying ethylene emission on Jupiter

Paul N. Romani, Donald E. Jennings, Gordon L. Bjoraker, Pedro V. Sada, George H. McCabe, Robert J. Boyle

Resultado de la investigaciónrevisión exhaustiva

27 Citas (Scopus)


Ethylene (C 2H 4) emission has been measured in the poles and equator of Jupiter. The 949 cm -1 spectra were recorded with a high resolution spectrometer at the McMath-Pierce telescope at Kitt Peak in October-November 1998 and at the Infrared Telescope Facility at Mauna Kea in June 2000. C 2H 4 is an important product of methane chemistry in the outer planets. Knowledge of its abundance can help discriminate among the various proposed sets of CH 4 photolysis branching ratios at Ly-α, and determine the relative importance of the reaction pathways that produce C 2H 2 and C 2H 6. In the equatorial region the C 2H 4 emission is weak, and we were only able to detect it at high air-mass, near the limb. We derive a peak equatorial molar abundance of C 2H 4 of 4.5 × 10 -7 - 1.7 × 10 -6 near 2.2 × 10 -3 mbar, with a total column of 5.7 × 10 14 - 2.2 × 10 15 molecules cm -2 above 10 mbar depending upon choice of thermal profile. We observed enhanced C 2H 4 emission from the poles in the regions where auroras are seen in X-ray, UV, and near infrared images. In 2000 we measured a short-term change in the distribution of polar C 2H 4 emission; the emission in the north IR auroral "hot spot" decreased by a factor of three over a two-day interval. This transient behavior and the sensitivity of C 2H 4 emission to temperature changes near its contribution peak at 5-10 microbar suggests that the polar enhancement is primarily a thermal effect coupled with vertical transport. Comparing our observations from Kitt Peak and Mauna Kea shows that the C 2H 4 emission of the northern non-"hot spot" auroral regions did not change over the three-year period while that in the southern polar regions decreased.

Idioma originalEnglish
Páginas (desde-hasta)420-434
Número de páginas15
EstadoPublished - 1 dic 2008
Publicado de forma externa

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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