PI: Laurence Trafton, University of Texas at Austin, email@example.com
Address: Astronomy Department, 2515 Speedway, Stop 1400, Austin, TX 78712
CoI: Thomas Geballe, Gemini
Title: Investigation of Thermal Tides in Uranus' Thermosphere
Abstract: We propose to investigate the role of diurnal thermal tides in heating Uranus' thermosphere. From K-band observations with NIFS + Altair/NGS, we will map out the \aH2 fundamental-band emission in the S and Q branch lines separately over the disk. Using these maps, which probe various depths into the thermosphere, we will investigate the emission morphology to search for repetitive thermal lobes characteristic of multi-wave solar thermal tides that deposit heat efficiently into the thermosphere. Thermal perturbations observed in these maps will be analyzed to estimate the dynamic heating relative to the solar input in search of the unknown dominant source of thermospheric heating for the giant planets, a major unsolved problem since the Voyager flybys.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360