Publications by Patrick Irwin

Latitudinal variability in Jupiter's tropospheric disequilibrium species: GeH4, AsH3 and PH3

Icarus Elsevier 289 (2016) 254-269

R Giles, L Fletcher, PG Irwin

Jupiter's tropospheric composition is studied using high resolution spatially-resolved 5-mm observation from the CRIRES instrument at the Very Large Telescope. The high resolving power (R=96,000) allows us to spectrally resolve the line shapes of individual molecular species in Jupiter's troposphere and, by aligning the slit north-south along Jupiter's central meridian, we are able to search for any latitudinal variability. Despite the high spectral resolution, we find that there are significant degeneracies between the cloud structure and aerosol scattering properties that complicate the retrievals of tropospheric gaseous abundances and limit conclusions on any belt-zone variability. However, we do find evidence for variability between the equatorial regions of the planet and the polar regions. Arsine (AsH3) and phosphine (PH3) both show an enhancement at high latitudes, while the abundance of germane (GeH4) remains approximately constant. These observations contrast with the theoretical predictions from Wang et al. (2016) and we discuss the possible explanations for this difierence.

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