What the Upper Atmospheres of Giant Planets Reveal

James O’Donoghue*, Tom Stallard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Abstract

The upper atmospheres of the Giant Planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are transition regions between meteorological layers and outer space. As a result of their exceptionally rarefied nature, they are highly sensitive and therefore revealing probes of the forcing exerted both from above and below. This review provides an overview of these upper atmospheres and the major processes that take place within them, including their powerful auroras, the giant planet ‘energy crisis’ and the decay of Saturn’s rings into the planet. We discuss the many remote-sensing tools that have been used to understand them, for example, large ground-based observatories such as the Keck telescope, space-based observatories such as the Hubble Space Telescope and orbiters such as the Cassini spacecraft. Looking into the future, we discuss the possibilities afforded by the latest and next generation of observatories and space missions, such as the James Webb Space Telescope.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6326
Number of pages24
JournalRemote Sensing
Volume14
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2022

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