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The Subaru Seminar is usually held in Room 104 of the Hilo Base Facility, adjacent to the main lobby. Everyone is welcome to attend. If you are interested in giving a seminar, please contact Subaru seminar organizers (Tomonori Usuda, Kumiko S. Usuda, Masayuki Akiyama) by email : (please change"_at" to @).

December 04, Monday at 11:00am

" New Frontiers of Atmospheric Studies: Infrared Imaging of Giant Planet Atmospheres, A Case Study - Jupiter's New Red Spot "

Glenn S. Orton

(Jet Propulsion Laboratory / California Institute of Technology)

A new frontier in planetary studies is coming into maturity through the information provided by remote sensing of planetary systems by (i)interplanetary probes, (ii) near-earth spacecraft and (iii) ground-based observations of thermal emission. This talk will focus primarily on studies of planetary atmospheres, where these data supply a vertical dimension to measurements of horizonal measurements of clouds properties and cloud-tracked winds, as well as an assessment of planetary chemistry. A specific example will be shown in detail which serve as a "case study". A. In Jupiter, 3 earth-sized vortices which were stable for over 60 years merged in a two-step process in 1998 and 2000. The resulting oval remained white in color and stable but unexpectedly changed color in 2005 from white to red - as red as Jupiter's Great Red Spot. Our campaign to understand what changed physically in the vortex involved measurements of the field of temperatures, ammonia distribution and clouds using (1) high-resolution images of the vortex made before the color change with the COMICS mid-infrared facility on the Subaru telescope in May, 2005, (2) the mid-infrared VISIR camera/spectrometer on ESO's Very Large Telescope, made almost simultaneously with Hubble Space Telescope ACS images, and (3), the NASA Infrared telescope with the mid-infrared MIRSI instrument and the refurbished near-infrared facility camera NSFCam2. We are use these data to characterize the extent to which changes in storm strength (vorticity, postive vertical motion) influence (i) the depth from which colored cloud particles may have been "dredged up" from depth or (ii) the altitude to which particles may have been lofted and subject to high-energy UV radiation which caused a color change, as alternative explanations for the phenomenon. Clues to this will provide clues to the chemistry of Jupiter's cloud system and its well-known colors in general. Other examples will be shown relevant to Cassini observations of Saturn and Spitzer observations of Uranus and Neptune.

Seminars are also held at JAC, CFHT, and IfA.

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