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Metal Ions in the Atmosphere of Neptune

Lyons, James R. (1995) Metal Ions in the Atmosphere of Neptune. Science, 267 (5198). pp. 648-651. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.7839139.

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Microwave propagation experiments performed with Voyager 2 at Neptune revealed sharp layers of electrons in Neptune's lower ionosphere with densities of approximately 10(4) per cubic centimeter. These layers are reminiscent of the sporadic-E layers in the Earth's ionosphere, and when taken together with data from the other giant planets, these data confirm the importance of the magnetic field in layer formation. A photochemical model that incorporates species produced by meteoroid ablation predicts that singly ionized magnesium is the most likely metal to be found in the layers, although laboratory data on the kinetics of metallic atoms and ions in a reducing environment are lacking. The metal chemistry discussed here is directly relevant to the abundant metals observed at the impact site of the G fragment of comet Shoemaker Levy 9 on Jupiter.

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Additional Information:© 1995 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 29 July 1994; accepted 1 November 1994. Discussions with G. Lindal, E. R. Kursinski, J. Connerney, Y. Yung, W. Goddard, T. Rebold, and S. Asmar are gratefully acknowledged. G. Lindal provided the electron number density profile. This work was supported by NASA grants NAGW-2362 and NAGW-1509. Contribution 5418 from the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences5418
Issue or Number:5198
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Official Citation:Metal ions in the atmosphere of Neptune Lyons JR Science 3 February 1995: 267 (5198), 648-651. [DOI:10.1126/science.7839139]
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:52533
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 Dec 2014 18:01
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:42

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