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Removing Complexity From Jovian Cloud Models

Presentation #505.01 in the session Origin and Evolution of Giant Planet Systems I (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Removing Complexity From Jovian Cloud Models

When we consider Jupiter’s atmosphere we see a highly diverse and complex appearance to its cloud top structure. But does a complex appearance justify a complex cloud model? Many current models of Jupiter’s atmosphere involve three cloud layers with a vast number of parameters which can be altered between each observation in order to fit each one. Increasing the scrutiny of these models by fitting to a higher spectral resolution VLT/MUSE cube observation whilst fitting multiple viewing angles simultaneously as in [1], begins to cast doubt on the robustness of these complex set ups.

A key issue when attempting to improve cloud models of Jupiter is the highly degenerate nature of the parameter space with many coupled properties which can each affect the spectrum in a similar way. Being able to differentiate between a parameter value that provides a good spectral fit and a realistic cloud property is difficult. Therefore this work will be demonstrating ways to simplify the cloud set up of Jupiter, whilst fully reproducing the observations, through the application of multiple new techniques to predetermine atmospheric parameters before a full retrieval is undertaken.

Utilisation of the techniques outlined in [2] allows the cloud vertical position to be determined without dependence of any other parameters. From this starting point, which revealed a uniform pressure level of the main cloud deck across all latitudes in the study (50°S-50°N), we are able to subsequently fix further atmospheric parameters through full atmospheric retrievals building up an atmospheric model. The Non-linear optimal Estimator for MultivariatE spectral AnalySIS (NEMESIS) algorithm [3], is used throughout. Therefore this work will demonstrate how a more simplistic cloud model for the Jovian atmosphere is able to robustly reproduce observations across the disc.

[1] Pérez-Hoyos, et al., (2020), Icarus, 352:114031

[2] Irwin, et al., (2022), JGR:Planets, 127, e2022JE007189

[3] Irwin, et al., (2008), JQSRT, 109:1136–1150

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