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First detection of the 56-μm rotational line of HD in Saturn's atmosphere

Griffin, M. J., Naylor, D. A., Davis, G. R., Ade, Peter A. R., Oldham, P. G., Swinyard, B. M., Gautier, D., Lellouch, E., Orton, G. S., Encrenaz, T., de Graauw, T., Furniss, H., Smith, I., Armand, C., Burgdorf, M., di Giorgio, A., Ewart, D., Gry, C., King, K. J., Lim, T., Molinari, S., Price, M., Sidher, S., Smith, A., Texier, D., Trams, N., Unger, S. J. and Salama, A. 1996. First detection of the 56-μm rotational line of HD in Saturn's atmosphere. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy 315 , L389-L392.

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The R(1) rotational line of HD at 56.23μm has been detected for the first time on Saturn using the Long Wavelength Spectrometer (LWS) on board the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). The measurements were made using the LWS in Fabry-Perot mode in January 1996 during the ISO performance verification phase. The measured spectrum has been compared with atmospheric models to determine the HD/H_2_ abundance ratio. The best model fit to the measured spectrum was obtained with a D/H ratio in hydrogen of 2.3x10^-5^; D/H values between 1.5x10^-5^ and 3.5x10^-5^ are however also compatible with the data. This result is intermediate between the saturnian value derived from ground-based observations of methane and its deuterated isotope, and the preliminary determination of the jovian D/H ratio measured by the mass spectrometer in the Galileo probe. The initial Saturn measurements reported here will be repeated to improve the signal-to-noise ratio, and LWS observations of HD on Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune will also be made.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Publisher: Springer Link
ISSN: 0250-6335
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:35

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