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Particles, environments and possible ecologies in the Jovian atmosphereThe eddy diffusion coefficient is estimated as a function of altitude, separately for the Jovian troposphere and mesosphere. Complex organic molecules produced by the Ly alpha photolysis of methane may possibly be the absorbers in the lower mesosphere which account for the low reflectivity of Jupiter in the near ultraviolet. The optical frequency chromophores are localized at or just below the Jovian tropopause. Candidate chromophore molecules must satisfy the condition that they are produced sufficiently rapidly that convective pyrolysis maintains the observed chromophore optical depth. The condition is satisfied if complex organic chromophores are produced with high quantum yield by NH3 photolysis at less than 2,300 A. Jovian photoautotrophs in the upper troposphere satisfy this condition well, even with fast circulation, assuming only biochemical properties of comparable terrestrial organisms. An organism in the form of a thin, gas filled balloon can grow fast enough to replicate if (1) it can survive at the low mesospheric temperatures, or if (2) photosynthesis occurs in the troposphere.
Document ID
19760019038
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Authors
Sagan, C. (Cornell Univ. Ithaca, NY, United States)
Salpeter, E. E. (Cornell Univ. Ithaca, NY, United States)
Date Acquired
September 3, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1976
Subject Category
LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Report/Patent Number
NASA-CR-148170
CRSR-617-REV
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NGR-33-010-082
CONTRACT_GRANT: NGR-33-010-101
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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