A Caltech Library Service

The water abundance in Jupiter’s equatorial zone

Li, Cheng and Ingersoll, Andrew and Bolton, Scott and Levin, Steven and Janssen, Michael and Atreya, Sushil and Lunine, Jonathan and Steffes, Paul and Brown, Shannon and Guillot, Tristan and Allison, Michael and Arballo, John and Bellotti, Amadeo and Adumitroaie, Virgil and Gulkis, Samuel and Hodges, Andrew and Li, Liming and Misra, Sidharth and Orton, Glenn and Oyafuso, Fabiano and Santos-Costa, Daniel and Waite, Hunter and Zhang, Zhimeng (2020) The water abundance in Jupiter’s equatorial zone. Nature Astronomy, 4 (6). pp. 609-616. ISSN 2397-3366. doi:10.1038/s41550-020-1009-3.

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

[img] PDF (Supplementary text, tables, figures and references) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.

[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Fig. 1: Limb-darkening error of the fitting using a three-parameter formula) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.

[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Fig. 2: Brightness temperature error of the fitting using a three-parameter formula) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.

[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Fig. 3: Spacity pattern of the error covariance matrix) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Oxygen is the most common element after hydrogen and helium in Jupiter’s atmosphere, and may have been the primary condensable (as water ice) in the protoplanetary disk. Prior to the Juno mission, in situ measurements of Jupiter’s water abundance were obtained from the Galileo probe, which dropped into a meteorologically anomalous site. The findings of the Galileo probe were inconclusive because the concentration of water was still increasing when the probe ceased sending data. Here we report on the water abundance in the equatorial region (0 to 4 degrees north latitude), based on data taken at 1.25 to 22 GHz from the Juno microwave radiometer, probing pressures of approximately 0.7 to 30 bar. Because Juno discovered the deep atmosphere to be surprisingly variable as a function of latitude, it remains to confirm whether the equatorial abundance represents Jupiter’s global water abundance. The water abundance at the equatorial region is inferred to be 2.5^(+2.2)_(−1.6) ppm, or 2.7^(+2.4_(−1.7) times the elemental ratio of protosolar oxygen to hydrogen (1σ uncertainties). If this reflects the global water abundance, the result suggests that the planetesimals that formed Jupiter were unlikely to have been water-rich clathrate hydrates.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access Paper
Li, Cheng0000-0002-8280-3119
Ingersoll, Andrew0000-0002-2035-9198
Bolton, Scott0000-0002-9115-0789
Levin, Steven0000-0003-2242-5459
Janssen, Michael0000-0001-5476-731X
Atreya, Sushil0000-0002-1972-1815
Lunine, Jonathan0000-0003-2279-4131
Steffes, Paul0000-0003-3962-8957
Brown, Shannon0000-0002-7566-8537
Guillot, Tristan0000-0002-7188-8428
Allison, Michael0000-0001-9841-193X
Bellotti, Amadeo0000-0003-2867-4173
Adumitroaie, Virgil0000-0001-7239-0069
Gulkis, Samuel0000-0002-4480-3628
Li, Liming0000-0002-5257-9849
Misra, Sidharth0000-0003-1738-6635
Orton, Glenn0000-0001-7871-2823
Oyafuso, Fabiano0000-0002-8862-8737
Additional Information:© 2020 Springer Nature Limited. Received 23 July 2019; Accepted 02 January 2020; Published 10 February 2020. The research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Juno mission and the team members at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory were supported by NASA grant NNN12AA01C. T.G. acknowledges support from CNRS. We thank all Juno team members for the collaborative efforts. Data availability: Juno MWR data can be accessed on the Planetary Data System (PDS) Requests for all other data or materials that are presented in the paper but not archived in the PDS should be addressed to C.L. Author Contributions: C.L. developed the inversion software and performed the data analysis. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript. The authors declare no competing interests.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Astronomy and planetary science; Atmospheric chemistry; Giant planets; Planetary science
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191223-105236594
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Li, C., Ingersoll, A., Bolton, S. et al. The water abundance in Jupiter’s equatorial zone. Nat Astron 4, 609–616 (2020).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100406
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:10 Feb 2020 18:14
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:53

Repository Staff Only: item control page