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The Morphology of Occultation Light Curves with Wavelet-induced Atmospheric Perturbations

Presentation #409.06 in the session “Giant Planets: Simulations”.

Published onOct 03, 2021
The Morphology of Occultation Light Curves with Wavelet-induced Atmospheric Perturbations

The presence of gravity waves in the upper atmospheres of solar system bodies has been widely observed. As the gravity waves cause a perturbation in the atmospheric refractivity, the results from the perturbation can be observed as spikes in occultation light curves. Young et al. (2021; in prep.) propose to apply a wavelet decomposition method to analyze the perturbations in an isothermal atmosphere of a Uranus-like planet. In this work, we apply Meyer wavelets to examine the effects of perturbation on occultation light curves. In calculating the occultation light curves, we implemented Chamberlain and Elliot (1997) forward modeling, based on geometric optics. Using integration along the line-of-sight, we compute the bending angle and its derivative from the refractivity profile. We then determine the validity of the wavelet-induced spikes and examine the behaviors and morphology of the resulting light curves for short- and long-wavelength perturbations.

Specifically, we examine the high peaks from ray-crossing effects for critically stable waves which occur when the wavelength is shorter than half the scale height. We also examine the onsets and transitions of overfocused (flux greater than 1.0) light curves, and where and how these criteria would begin to impinge on wavelet and inversion analysis. Finally, the resulting light curves are provided as test cases for analyzing atmospheric waves using the methods currently being described by Young et al. (2021; in prep.).


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