Atmosphere Structure

Atmosphere Structure - Saturn has the same three main cloud...

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Atmosphere Structure The Galileo spacecraft dropped a probe into Jupiter's atmosphere when it arrived at Jupiter in December 1995. The probe got a depth of 161 km below the cloudtops before the probe stopped functioning because of high pressures and temperatures. At that depth the pressure was 22 bars and the temperature about 425 K. From the atmosphere structure figure above, the Galileo probe should have penetrated to where the water vapor is but it did not find the water. Unfortunately, the probe entered one of the clear, dry areas produced by downdrafts . Although, the probe got over 160 km below the cloudtops, it was still in the troposphere and its deepest point represents just 0.3% of Jupiter's radius. Above the troposphere of Jupiter, ultraviolet heating makes a stratosphere but other molecules instead of ozone absorb the ultraviolet light. At the highest levels are the thermosphere and the exosphere.
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Unformatted text preview: Saturn has the same three main cloud decks, though they are found at lower altitudes than on Jupiter because of Saturn's lower temperature (it is further from the Sun). Also, Saturn's cloud decks are further apart from each other because of Saturn's lower gravity---there is less compression of the gases. Because Saturn's clouds form at deeper positions in its troposphere, its cloud patterns appear more muted than on Jupiter. It is thought that the three cloud decks (of ammonia, ammonium hydrosulfide, and water) would be found much too deep in the tropospheres of Uranus and Neptune for us to see. Instead, Uranus and Neptune being even further from the Sun have cold enough tropospheres for methane to condense and freeze to form clouds (Jupiter and Saturn are too warm for methane clouds). Neptune has extra heat energy from its interior so its atmosphere temperature is warmer than Uranus....
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Atmosphere Structure - Saturn has the same three main cloud...

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