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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2014/42296

Title: Fading of Jupiter’s South Equatorial Belt
Authors: Sola, Michael A.
Orton, Glenn
Baines, Kevin
Yanamandra-Fisher, Padma
Keywords: near-infrared
Jupiter
Issue Date: Aug-2011
Publisher: Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2011.
Citation: NASA Undergraduate Student Research Program (USRP), Pasadena, California, August 2011
Abstract: One of Jupiter's most dominant features, the South Equatorial Belt, has historically gone through a “fading” cycle. The usual dark, brownish clouds turn white, and after a period of time, the region returns to its normal color. Understanding this phenomenon, the latest occurring in 2010, will increase our knowledge of planetary atmospheres. Using the near infrared camera, NSFCAM2, at NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii, images were taken of Jupiter accompanied by data describing the circumstances of each observation. These images are then processed and reduced through an IDL program. By scanning the central meridian of the planet, graphs were produced plotting the average values across the central meridian, which are used to find variations in the region of interest. Calculations using Albert4, a FORTRAN program that calculates the upwelling reflected sunlight from a designated cloud model, can be used to determine the effects of a model atmosphere due to various absorption, scattering, and emission processes. Spectra that were produced show ammonia bands in the South Equatorial Belt. So far, we can deduce from this information that an upwelling of ammonia particles caused a cloud layer to cover up the region. Further investigations using Albert4 and other models will help us to constrain better the chemical make up of the cloud and its location in the atmosphere.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2014/42296
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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