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ICARUS 82, 288-313 (1989) Uranus Deep Atmosphere Revealed
 

Summary: ICARUS 82, 288-313 (1989)
Uranus Deep Atmosphere Revealed
IMKE DE PATER, *A PAUL N. ROMANI,T ,z AND SUSHIL K. ATREYA$
*Astronomy Department, Campbell Hall 601, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720;
TNational Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center, code 693.2,
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771; and ~;Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences,
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Received October 3, 1988; revised April 24, 1989
We have examined Uranus' radio spectrum and the latitudinal variation in its radio
brightness temperature. We conclude that Uranus' spectrum cannot be explained with
models based upon thermochemical equilibrium. The spectrum can only be matched if
there is a low ammonia volume mixing ratio (a few times 10-7 between roughly 150 <
T < 240 K), distributed uniformly over a large range of altitude. To remove sufficient
NH3 at deep tropospheric levels through the formation of an NH4SH-solid cloud, a large
concentration of H2S gas is needed, which implies that sulfur must be enhanced relative
to its solar value by a factor of a few hundred. We further can constrain the S/N ratio to
be at least live times the solar value if the H20 volume mixing ratio is <100x solar and
equal to or larger than 3x solar if H20 is >~500x solar. The elemental ratios derived
from our work support the theory of planetary accretion by Pollack and Bodenheimer
(1989, in Origin and Evolution of Atmospheres (S. Atreya, Ed.)). The constant mixing

  

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

 

Collections: Physics