Thermal structure of Jupiter's atmosphere near the edge of a 5-μm hot spot in the north equatorial belt
Thermal structure of the atmosphere of Jupiter was measured from 1029 km above to 133 km below the 1-bar level during entry and descent of the Galileo probe. The data confirm the hot exosphere observed by Voyager (~900 K at 1 nanobar). The deep atmosphere, which reached 429 K at 22 bars, was close to dry adiabatic from 6 to 16 bars within an uncertainty ~0.1 K/km. The upper atmosphere was dominated by gravity waves from the tropopause to the exosphere. Shorter waves were fully absorbed below 300 km, while longer wave amplitudes first grew, then were damped at the higher altitudes. A remarkably deep isothermal layer was found in the stratosphere from 90 to 290 km with T~160K. Just above the tropopause at 260 mbar, there was a second isothermal region ~25 km deep with T~112K. Between 10 and 1000 mbar, the data substantially agree with Voyager radio occultations. The Voyager 1 equatorial occultation was similar in detail to the present sounding through the tropopause region. The Voyager IRIS average thermal structure in the north equatorial belt (NEB) approximates a smoothed fit to the present data between 0.03 and 400 mbar. Differences are partly a result of large differences in vertical resolution but may also reflect differences between a hot spot and the average NEB. At 15<p<22bars, where is was necessary to extrapolate the pressure calibration to sensor temperatures up to 118°C, the data indicate a stable layer in which stability increases with depth. Consistent with the indication of stability, regular fluctuations in probe vertical velocity imply gravity waves in this layer. At p>4bars, probe descent velocities derived from the data are consistently unsteady, suggesting the presence of large-scale turbulence or gravity waves. However, there was no evidence of turbulent temperature fluctuations >0.12 K. A conspicuous pause in the rate of decrease of descent velocity between 1.1 and 1.35 bars, where a disturbance was also detected by the two radio Doppler experiments, implies strong vertical flow in the cloud by the probe nephelometer. At p<0.6bar, measured temperatures were ~3 K warmer than the dry adiabat, possible evidence of radiative warming. This could be associated with a tenuous cloud detected by the probe nephelometer above the 0.51 bar level. For an ammonia cloud to form at this level, the required abundance is ~0.20×solar.