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The upper atmosphere of Uranus - Mean temperature and temperature variationsThe number-density, pressure, and temperature profiles of the Uranian atmosphere in the pressure interval from 0.3 to 30 dynes/sq cm are derived from observations of the occultation of SAO 158687 by Uranus on 1977 March 10, observations made from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory and the Cape Town station of the South African Astronomical Observatory. The mean temperature is found to be about 95 K, but peak-to-peak variations from 10 K to 20 K or more exist on a scale of 150 km or 3 scale heights. The existence of a thermal inversion is established, but the inversion is much weaker than the analogous inversion on Neptune. The mean temperature can be explained by solar heating in the 3.3 micron methane band with a methane mixing ratio of 4 x 10 to the -6th combined with the cooling effect of ethane with a mixing ratio of not greater than 4 x 10 to the -6th. The temperature variations are probably due to a photochemical process that has formed a Chapman layer.
Document ID
19800038037
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Authors
Dunham, E. (Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. Cambridge, MA, United States)
Elliot, J. L. (MIT Cambridge, Mass., United States)
Gierasch, P. J. (Cornell University Ithaca, N.Y., United States)
Date Acquired
August 10, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1980
Publication Information
Publication: Astrophysical Journal
Subject Category
LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NSF AST-79-08376
CONTRACT_GRANT: NSG-2342
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other