NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0106

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Proposal Information for 2010B-0106


PI: Glenn Orton, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, go@scn.jpl.nasa.gov
Address: MS 169-237, 4800 Oak Grove, Drive Pasadena, CA 91109, USA

CoI: Leigh Fletcher, Univeristy of Oxford
CoI: Therese Encrenaz, Observatoire de Paris, Meudon
CoI: Heidi Hammel, Space Science Institute
CoI: Thomas Geballe, Gemini Observatory - North
CoI: Imke de Pater, University of California, Berkeley

Title: Meridional Variability of Radiative vs Dynamical Forcing in Neptune

Abstract: We propose using Michelle to acquire a spatially resolved spectrum of Neptune's central meridian in the Q band (17-25 microns). This portion of Neptune's spectrum is sensitive to temperatures in the 100-400 mbar temperature profile, which we will map as a function of latitude by aligning the slit along Neptune's central meridian. These temperautres wil determine the depth to which extreme radaitive seasonal warming of Neptune's 100-mbar tropopause at the south pole extends down into the convective region. It will also measure Neptune's para-H2 fraction vs latitude, providing a tracer of vertical motions. Finally, the radiometry of this spectrum will supplement disk-averaged observations made by Spitzer in the "long-high" mode, which we determined were unusable because of systematic effects. Gemini North/Michelle is preferred because of its prevailing low atmospheric water vapor, but equivalent time will be considered on Gemini South/TReCS with the same low water-vapor requirement.


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