On the dynamics of the Jovian ionosphere and thermosphere. II. The measurement of H3+ vibrational temperature, column density, and total emission

Tom Stallard, Steve Miller, George Millward, Robert D. Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present the first reported measurements of the intensity of a "hotband" transition for the H3+ molecular ion in the northern auroral/polar region of Jupiter. This transition is identified as the R(3, 4+) line of the (2v2(l=0) → v2) hotband, with a wavelength of 3.94895 μm. This is the first time such a transition has been measured outside the laboratory, and the wavelength as measured on Jupiter is within the experimental accuracy of the lab measurement. This detection makes it possible to investigate H3+ transitions that simultaneously originate from different vibrational levels. We use the intensity ratio between this line and the Q(1, 0-) fundamental transition to derive effective vibrational temperatures, column densities, and total emission parameters as a function of position across the auroral/polar region. Effective temperatures range from ∼900 to ∼1250 K; an increase in average temperature during our observing run of ∼100 K is noted. The derived temperatures are toward the high end or in excess of the auroral temperature range that has been reported in the literature to date. The relationship among emission intensity, temperature, and density is shown to be complex. This may reflect the nonthermalization of the vibrational levels at the gas densities prevailing in the jovian thermosphere. An alternative analysis allowing for this effect is presented. But this approach requires thermospheric temperatures to be ∼1500 K at the level that the majority of H3+ is being produced, higher than has previously been proposed. © 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-514
Number of pages17
JournalIcarus
Volume156
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'On the dynamics of the Jovian ionosphere and thermosphere. II. The measurement of H3+ vibrational temperature, column density, and total emission'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this