Solar and Thermal Radiation in Jupiter's Atmosphere: Initial Results of the Galileo Probe Net Flux Radiometer

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Science  10 May 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5263, pp. 851-854
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5263.851


The Galileo probe net flux radiometer measured radiation within Jupiter's atmosphere over the 125-kilometer altitude range between pressures of 0.44 bar and 14 bars. Evidence for the expected ammonia cloud was seen in solar and thermal channels down to 0.5 to 0.6 bar. Between 0.6 and 10 bars large thermal fluxes imply very low gaseous opacities and provide no evidence for a deep water cloud. Near 8 bars the water vapor abundance appears to be about 10 percent of what would be expected for a solar abundance of oxygen. Below 8 bars, measurements suggest an increasing water abundance with depth or a deep cloud layer. Ammonia appears to follow a significantly subsaturated profile above 3 bars. Unexpectedly high absorption of sunlight was found at wavelengths greater than 600 nanometers.