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COUPLED CLOUDS AND CHEMISTRY OF THE GIANT PLANETS --A CASE FOR MULTIPROBES
 

Summary: COUPLED CLOUDS AND CHEMISTRY OF THE GIANT PLANETS --
A CASE FOR MULTIPROBES
SUSHIL K. ATREYA and AH-SAN WONG
Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor,
MI 48109-2143, USA
Received: 23 April 2004; Accepted in final form: 4 August 2004
Abstract. In seeking to understand the formation of the giant planets and the origin of their atmo-
spheres, the heavy element abundance in well-mixed atmosphere is key. However, clouds come in the
way. Thus, composition and condensation are intimately intertwined with the mystery of planetary
formation and atmospheric origin. Clouds also provide important clues to dynamical processes in the
atmosphere. In this chapter we discuss the thermochemical processes that determine the composition,
structure, and characteristics of the Jovian clouds. We also discuss the significance of clouds in the
big picture of the formation of giant planets and their atmospheres. We recommend multiprobes at
all four giant planets in order to break new ground.
Keywords: Jupiter, giant planets; chemistry, clouds; chromophores, haze; multiprobes
That the Planets are not without Water, is made not improbable by the late Observations:
For about Jupiter are observ'd some spots of a darker hue than the rest of his Body, which
by their continual change show themselves to be Clouds: For the spots of Jupiter which
belong to him, and never remove from him, are quite different from these, being sometimes
for a long time not to be seen for these Clouds; and again, when these disappear, showing

  

Source: Atreya, Sushil - Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Science, University of Michigan

 

Collections: Physics