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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Physical and chemical properties of Jupiter's north and south polar vortex revealed through mid-infrared imaging
by Fernandes, Joshua M., M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2017, 65; 10263309
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis reports on the characterization of the thermal and chemical distribution of Jupiter’s polar regions. The quantities are derived from mid-infrared images covering all longitudes at unprecedented spatial resolution using the COMICS instrument at the Subaru Telescope on the nights of January 24 and 25, 2016. Because of Jupiter’s slight axial tilt of 3° and low angular resolution and incomplete longitudinal coverage of previous mid-infrared observations, the physical and chemical properties of Jupiter’s polar regions have been poorly characterized. In advance of the exploration of the structure of Jupiter’s polar regions by the Juno spacecraft, this study focuses on mapping the 3-dimensional structure of Jupiter’s polar regions, specifically to characterize the polar vortices and compact regions of auroral influence. Using mid-infrared images taken in the 7.8 μm - 24.2 μm range, the 3-dimensional temperature field, para-H2 fraction, aerosol opacity, and the constraint on the distribution of gaseous-NH3 are determined on a range from 400 mbar to 100 mbar. Retrievals of these atmospheric parameters were performed using NEMESIS, a radiative transfer forward model and retrieval code. Results indicate that there are vortices at both poles, each with very distinct boundaries approximately 70° latitude in the north and -75° latitude in the south. The boundaries can be defined by sharp thermal gradients extending at least from the upper troposphere (500 mbar of atmospheric pressure) and into the stratosphere (0.1 mbar of atmospheric pressure). These polar regions are characterized by lower temperatures and lower para-hydrogen concentration, compared with the regions immediately outside the vortex boundaries.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jaikumar, Prashanth
Commitee: Orton, Glenn, Peterson, Michael
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Physics and Astronomy
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 56/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Astrophysics, Astronomy
Keywords: Aerosol opacity, Jupiter, Nemesis, Para-hydrogen, Polar vortex, Temperature
Publication Number: 10263309
ISBN: 978-1-369-77380-4
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