Carbon monoxide in Jupiter after comet shoemaker-levy 9

Keith S. Noll, Diane Gilmore, Roger F. Knacke, Maria Womack, Caitlin A. Griffith, Glenn Orton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Observations of the carbon monoxide fundamental vibration-rotation band near 4.7 μm before and after the impacts of the fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 showed no detectable changes in the R5 and R7 lines, with one possible exception. Observations of the G-impact site 21 hr after impact do not show CO emission, indicating that the heated portions of the stratosphere had cooled by that time. The large abundances of CO detected at the millibar pressure level by millimeter wave observations did not extend deeper in Jupiter's atmosphere. Predicted upwelling of shocked, O-rich material from below also did not occur. Combined with evidence for upwelling of N- and S-rich gas, our observations indicate that the comet fragments may not have penetrated to the H2O cloud. We find that CO concentrations in Jupiter's stratosphere may be higher than previously suspected, suggesting that some of the CO detected after the impacts may already have been present in Jupiter's stratosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-335
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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