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Title:
Detection of H3(+) from Uranus
Authors:
Trafton, L. M.; Geballe, T. R.; Miller, S.; Tennyson, J.; Ballester, G. E.
Affiliation:
AA(Texas Univ., Austin), AB(Joint Astronomy Center, Hilo, HI), AC(University College, London, United Kingdom), AD(University College, London, United Kingdom), AE(Oxford Univ., United Kingdom)
Publication:
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 405, no. 2, p. 761-766. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
03/1993
Category:
Lunar and Planetary Exploration; Uranus
Origin:
STI
NASA/STI Keywords:
Abundance, Emission Spectra, Energy Transfer, Hydrogen Ions, Infrared Astronomy, Uranus (Planet), Infrared Telescopes, Jupiter (Planet), Molecular Ions, Neptune (Planet), Saturn (Planet), Triatomic Molecules, Voyager 2 Spacecraft
Keywords:
URANUS, INFRARED, EMISSIONS, JUPITER, SPECTROMETRY, MAGNETOSPHERE, AURORAS, TELESCOPE METHODS, EARTH-BASED OBSERVATIONS, DESCRIPTION, ANALYSIS, COMPARISONS, GAS PLANETS, ENERGY, TRITIUM, WAVELENGTHS, IONS, IONOSPHERE, COMPOSITION, NEPTUNE, SPECTRA, TEMPERATURE
DOI:
10.1086/172404
Bibliographic Code:
1993ApJ...405..761T

Abstract

The detection of H3(+) in Uranus is reported. Using the CGS4 spectrometer on the UKIRT telescope, we clearly detected 11 emission features of the H3(+) fundamental vibration-rotation band between 3.89 and 4.09 microns. These features are composed primarily of lines from the Q-branch; the strongest of them is the Q(3) blend at 3.985 microns. Analysis of these features indicates a rotational temperature of 740 +/- 25 K, an ortho-H3(+) fraction of 0.51 +/- 0.03, and a disk-averaged H3(+) column abundance of 6.5 x 10 exp 10 (+/- 10 percent) molecules/sq cm. Comparison is made with Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune. A detection of the H2 1-0 S(1) line in Uranus and an upper limit to H3(+) emission from Neptune also are reported. The rate of energy deposition into Uranus appears to be significantly higher than the rate reported during the Voyager 2 flyby in January of 1986.

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