Jovian Atmosphere: Structure and Composition between the Turbopause and the Mesopause

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Science  24 May 1974:
Vol. 184, Issue 4139, pp. 901-903
DOI: 10.1126/science.184.4139.901


The occultation of the star Beta Scorpii by Jupiter was observed at high time resolution in three wavelength channels. The results imply a temperature of 220°K at an altitude in the Jovian atmosphere corresponding to 1014 molecules per cubic centimeter, and temperature fluctuations of 2° to 10°K over vertical scales of 2 to 10 kilometers. They suggest that the vertical eddy diffusion coefficient near the turbopause has a lower limit of 7 x 105K square centimeters per second, and that the turbopause lies above the altitude where the density is 5 x 1013 molecules per cubic centimeter. Below the turbopause, the ratio of hydrogen to helium is consistent with cosmic abundances.