Carbon Monoxide on Jupiter and Implications for Atmospheric Convection

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Science  09 Dec 1977:
Vol. 198, Issue 4321, pp. 1031-1034
DOI: 10.1126/science.198.4321.1031-a


A study of the equilibrium and disequilibrium thermochemistry of the recently discovered carbon monoxide on Jupiter suggests that the presence of this gas in the visible atmosphere is a direct result of very rapid upward mixing from levels in the deep atmosphere where the temperature is about 1100°K and where carbon monoxide is thermodynamically much more stable. As a consequence the observed carbon monoxide mixing ratio is a sensitive function of the vertical eddy mixing coefficient. We infer a value for this latter coefficient which is about three to four orders of magnitude greater than that in the earth's troposphere. This result directly supports existing structural and dynamical theories implying very rapid convection in the deep Jovian atmosphere, driven by an internal heat source.

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