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Measurements of the rotation rate of the jovian mid-to-low latitude ionosphere

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posted on 08.12.2016, 14:27 by Rosie E. Johnson, Tom S. Stallard, Henrik Melin, S. Miller, Jonathan D. Nichols
Previous studies of Jupiter’s upper atmosphere often assume that the mid-to-low latitude ionosphere is corotating, but a model describing an observed asymmetry in hydrogen Lyman-α emission (∼1000 km above the 1 bar level) disagrees with this assumption. From measurements of the Doppler shifted H+ 3 ν2 Q(1, 0−) line at 3.953 μm using the IRTF, the line-of-sight velocities of the H+ 3 ions were derived in the planetary reference frame and found to be 0.091 ± 0.25 km s−1, 0.0082 ± 0.30 km s−1 and 0.31 ± 0.51 km s−1 in 1998, 2007 and 2013 respectively. These zero velocities represent corotation at the midto-low latitude region of Jupiter’s ionosphere. There is no evidence of flows associated with the hydrogen Lyman-α emission asymmetries detected in the peak H+ 3 emission layer (∼550 km above the 1 bar level), and we assert that the H+ 3 ions in Jupiter’s mid-to-low latitude are rigidly corotating.


REJ was supported by STFC studentship X423ST02. TSS, HM and SM are visiting Astronomers at the Infrared Telescope Facility, which is operated by the University of Hawaii under Cooperative Agreement no. NNX-08AE38A with the NASA, Science Mission Directorate, Planetary Astronomy Program. This work was supported by the UK STFC Grant ST/K001000/1 and ST/N000749/1 for HM and TSS. JDN was supported by an STFC Advanced Fellowship ST/I004084/1. Open Access funded by Science and Technology Facilities Council



Icarus, 2016, 280, pp. 249-254 (6)

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Physics and Astronomy


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