Program: GS-2011B-Q-11

Title:Jupiter's Global Dynamics a Decade after Cassini: Spectroscopic Mapping
PI:Leigh Fletcher
Co-I(s): Michelle Edwards, Patrick Irwin, Glenn Orton, Nicholas Teanby, Agustin Sanchez-Lavega


Visible observers have monitored a number of spectacular meteorological transformations in Jupiter's dynamic atmosphere in the decade (one jovian year) since Cassini acquired near-global thermal-IR spectroscopy. Some of those changes (Jupiter's reappearing South Equatorial Belt (SEB), interactions between the Great Red Spot (GRS) and other vortices) were spectrally mapped in the N-band by Gemini/TRECS during 2010B. However, the absence of near-simultaneous Q-band spectroscopy to determine Jupiter's temperature structure hampers the analysis of compositional variations in the N-band, and prevents an identification of the vertical motions and changes to atmospheric stability associated with these transitions. We propose classical-mode observations to obtain Q- and N-band spectral maps from pole to pole over three nights. Temperatures, cloud cover and the distributions of dynamical tracers (PH3, NH3 and C2H6) will be derived to study (a) large-scale climatic variations in temperatures, winds and atmospheric stability in the time since Cassini, (b) modifications to equatorial upwelling, (c) strengthening or dissipation of Jupiter's GRS, (d) asymmetries in chemistry and aerosols between the two poles, and (e) the long-term effects of the SEB revival that started in 2010B. We intend to obtain the first north-south map of Jupiter's temperatures and composition since Cassini in 2000.

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