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Color and aerosol changes in Jupiter after a North Temperate Belt disturbance

Abstract : The banded appearance of Jupiter’s atmosphere shows significant changes over time, sometimes even transforming the reflectivity of a whole latitudinal band in a few weeks, and staying for years with an aspect different from the usual one. The origin of some of these disturbances may be associated with the creation and destruction of the chromophore species that provides Jovian clouds their reddish coloration. In this work, we have focused on the North Temperate Belt (NTB) disturbance detected during the second flyby of Juno mission (NASA) on October 2016, as a series of convective storms interacted with the fastest zonal jet on Jupiter at 24 N over months and left a quiet belt characterized by an intense red coloration Sánchez-Lavega et al. (2017). In order to determine the corresponding changes in the upper clouds and hazes we have used images taken in 2016 and 2017 with the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3. Such images were acquired before and after the outbreak, showing an intense color change in a narrow latitude band. The images cover the wavelength range from 250 nm up to the methane absorption band at 890 nm, thus sensitive to a number of atmospheric levels from the lower stratosphere to the upper troposphere where the ammonia condensation cloud is expected to be located. Here we use the radiative transfer suite NEMESIS Irwin et al. (2008) to determine the vertical distribution and properties of the upper hazes that best match the observed dependence of reflectivity with wavelength and geometry. We use two models for the Jovian chromophore: (A) an extended layer whose imaginary refractive index is left as a free parameter; and (B) a concentrated chromophore as in Sromovsky et al. (2017) using the optical properties by Carlson et al. (2016). Both scenarios show an increase in the number of particles responsible for the blue absorption approximately by a factor of 2, and require only small changes in the rest of the atmospheric parameters. We find that, even though results provided by scenario B are also compatible with observations, the limb-darkening is better described by scenario A, where there is also an increase of the particle absorption at the shortest wavelengths. In this work, we also provide an extension of the expected imaginary refractive indices to wavelengths beyond those covered in previous laboratory works, which will be useful for future studies.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 6, 2020 - 10:44:52 AM
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S. Perez-Hoyos, A. Sanchez-Lavega, J. F. Sanz-Requena, N. Barrado-Izagirre, O. Carrión-González, et al.. Color and aerosol changes in Jupiter after a North Temperate Belt disturbance. Icarus, Elsevier, 2020, 114031 (in press). ⟨10.1016/j.icarus.2020.114031⟩. ⟨insu-02912559⟩



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