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First ALMA Millimeter-wavelength Maps of Jupiter, with a Multiwavelength Study of Convection

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posted on 2019-10-14, 10:41 authored by I de Pater, RJ Sault, C Moecke, A Moullet, MH Wong, C Goullaud, D DeBoer, BJ Butler, G Bjoraker, M Adamkovics, R Cosentino, PT Donnelly, LN Fletcher, Y Kasaba, GS Orton, JH Rogers, JA Sinclair, E Villard
We obtained the first maps of Jupiter at 1–3 mm wavelength with the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) on 2017 January 3–5, just days after an energetic eruption at 16°. 5S jovigraphic latitude had been reported by the amateur community, and about two to three months after the detection of similarly energetic eruptions in the northern hemisphere, at 22°. 2–23°. 0N. Our observations, probing below the ammonia cloud deck, show that the erupting plumes in the South Equatorial Belt bring up ammonia gas from the deep atmosphere. While models of plume eruptions that are triggered at the water condensation level explain data taken at uv–visible and mid-infrared wavelengths, our ALMA observations provide a crucial, hitherto missing, link in the moist convection theory by showing that ammonia gas from the deep atmosphere is indeed brought up in these plumes. Contemporaneous Hubble Space Telescope data show that the plumes reach altitudes as high as the tropopause. We suggest that the plumes at 22°.2–23°.0N also rise up well above the ammonia cloud deck and that descending air may dry the neighboring belts even more than in quiescent times, which would explain our observations in the north.


This research was supported by NASA's Planetary Astronomy (PAST) award NNX14AJ43G and Solar System Observations (SSO) award 80NSSC18K1001 to the University of California, Berkeley. C.M. was supported in part by the NRAO Student Observing Support (SOS) Program. M.W. and G.B. were supported in part by Solar System Observations (SSO) award SSO NNX15AJ41G. L.F. was supported by a Royal Society Research Fellowship and European Research Council Consolidated Grant at the University of Leicester. J.S. and R.C. were supported by NASA Postdoctoral Fellowships. G.O. and J.S. were also supported by a contract between the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology and NASA. We thank Andrew S. Wetzel (Clemson University) for his help in reducing the Keck/NIRSPEC data. This paper makes use of ALMA data 2016.1.00701.S and VLA data VLA/16B-048. ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA) and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada), MOST and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO, and NAOJ. The data can be downloaded from the ALMA Archive. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. This research was partially based on thermal-infrared observations acquired at the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) Paranal UT3/Melipal Observatory (098.C–0681(C) and 098.C–0681(D)); all data are available via the ESO science archive. The research was also in part based on Gemini data (GN-2016B-FT-18). The Gemini observatory is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), Min



The Astronomical Journal, 2019,158:139

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


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