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Temporal variation of the 3-micron hydrocarbon emissions at the 8-micron north polar hot spot of Jupiter: Comparison with solar wind activity

Kim, Sang Joon and Sim, Chae Kyung and Geballe, Thomas R. and Yung, Yuk L. and Miller, Steve and Greathouse, Thomas K. and Lee, Sungho and Tao, Chihiro (2020) Temporal variation of the 3-micron hydrocarbon emissions at the 8-micron north polar hot spot of Jupiter: Comparison with solar wind activity. Icarus, 348 . Art. No. 113852. ISSN 0019-1035. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2020.113852.

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We have obtained Gemini/GNIRS 3.3–3.4 μm spectra of Jupiter at 65o North latitude over a range of longitudes roughly centered on the 8-μm CH4 north polar hot spot (8CNPHS). The spectra were measured on four occasions during a four-month period in 2018, in order to search for variability of the 3-μm emissions of CH₄ and C₂H₆. The observed locations of the brightest spots of the C₂H₆ and CH₄ emissions at 65oN differed in longitude typically by 20o during this period. The peak emission intensities of these species showed large variations, with the highest intensities 3–4 times greater than the lowest intensities. In addition, the brightest 3-μm CH₄ emissions and hottest temperatures at the 8CNPHS were significantly less than those at the 3-μm CH4 north polar hot spot (3CNPHS, Kim et al., 2015). Recently, Sinclair et al. (2019) reported a coincidence between solar wind dynamical pressure and the 8-μm brightening of the 8CNPHS. In contrast, we find lack of correlation in our data between the 3-μm hydrocarbon emission intensities at the 8CNPHS and the solar wind strength. We also find lack of correlation between H₃⁺ intensities and the solar wind strength during the period. However, due to the limited observational data, it is too early to conclude whether this lack of correlation indicates that the solar wind activity induced no significant changes in local temperatures (<40 K) and/or mixing ratios of these molecules. Our observing period was close to the historic grand solar minimum. The detailed influence of the solar activity on the 3 and 8 μm brightness at the 8CNPHS is not quantitatively understood at the present time.

Item Type:Article
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Yung, Yuk L.0000-0002-4263-2562
Additional Information:© 2020 Elsevier Inc. Received 25 July 2019, Revised 3 April 2020, Accepted 11 May 2020, Available online 15 May 2020. This paper is based in large part on observations obtained at the Gemini Observatory, which 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), National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva (Argentina), Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (Brazil), and Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (Republic of Korea). SJK acknowledges support from the Basic Science Research Program (2018R1D1A1B07046476), and the Brain Korea 21 Plus (BK21+) program through NRF funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. SJK thanks a discussion with Prof. Gwang Son Choe regarding solar cycles, and useful information on collisional relaxation rates provided by Dr. Peter Panka. This research was supported by K-GMT Science Program (GN-2018A-Q-221) of Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute. YLY acknowledges support by NASA New Frontiers Program. The solar wind data used in this study are available upon a request to C.Tao ( and/or at AMDA database ( We thank the anonymous referees for their many detailed suggestions, which greatly improved the content of this paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gemini PartnershipUNSPECIFIED
National Research Foundation of Korea2018R1D1A1B07046476
Brain Korea 21 Plus ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (Korea)UNSPECIFIED
Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI)GN-2018A-Q-221
Subject Keywords:Jupiter, Infrared, Spectroscopy, Atmosphere, Aurora
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200515-091955895
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Official Citation:Sang Joon Kim, Chae Kyung Sim, Thomas R. Geballe, Yuk L. Yung, Steve Miller, Thomas K. Greathouse, Sungho Lee, Chihiro Tao, Temporal variation of the 3-micron hydrocarbon emissions at the 8-micron north polar hot spot of Jupiter: Comparison with solar wind activity, Icarus, Volume 348, 2020, 113852, ISSN 0019-1035, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:103229
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 May 2020 17:01
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:19

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