Research Articles

Thermal Maps of Jupiter: Spatial Organization and Time Dependence of Stratospheric Temperatures, 1980 to 1990

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Science  26 Apr 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5005, pp. 537-542
DOI: 10.1126/science.252.5005.537


The spatial organization and time dependence of Jupiter's stratospheric temperatures have been measured by observing thermal emission from the 7.8-micrometer CH4 band. These temperatures, observed through the greater part of a Jovian year, exhibit the influence of seasonal radiative forcing. Distinct bands of high temperature are located at the poles and mid-latitudes, while the equator alternates between warm and cold with a period of approximately 4 years. Substantial longitudinal variability is often observed within the warm mid-latitude bands, and occasionally elsewhere on the planet. This variability includes small, localized structures, as well as large-scale waves with wavelengths longer than ∼30,000 kilometers. The amplitudes of the waves vary on a time scale of ∼1 month; structures on a smaller scale may have lifetimes of only days. Waves observed in 1985, 1987, and 1988 propagated with group velocities less than ±30 meters per second.

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