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Submillimeter and millimeter observations of Uranus and Neptune

Orton, G. S., Griffin, Matthew Joseph ORCID:, Ade, Peter A. R. ORCID:, Nolt, I. G., Radostitz, J. V., Robson, E. I. and Gear, Walter Kieran ORCID: 1986. Submillimeter and millimeter observations of Uranus and Neptune. Icarus 67 (2) , pp. 289-304. 10.1016/0019-1035(86)90110-7

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We have made narrowband photometric measurements of Uranus and Neptune covering the wavelength range from 0.35 to 3.3 mm. The observations provide accurate comparative radiometry of these planets. Absolute calibration was referenced to Mars, and to Jupiter as a secondary standard. The results establish Uranus and Neptune as reliable secondary calibrators in their own right. We have combined our observations with other measurements made in the period 1978 through 1984 in the spectral range of 17 μm through 3 mm to form models for atmospheric temperature structure in the vertical range from 100 mbar to 8 bar. The simplest models imply that the tropospheres of both planets are consistent with “frozen” equilibrium H2 and a mixing ratio of CH4 of about 2% by volume in the deep atmosphere. There is some evidence in the Uranus data which implies the presence of discrete spectral lines. These could be due to CH4 pure rotational or dimer transitions or to minor constituents such as CO, which remain uncondensed even at the cold temperatures in the atmosphere of Uranus.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Publisher: Elsevier Science
ISSN: 0019-1035
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2022 10:14

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