Stellar occultations by turbulent planetary atmospheres: The Beta Scorpii events

J. R. Jokipii, W. B. Hubbard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Possible manifestationsof turbulent scattering in the 1971 Beta Scorpii occultations by Jupiter are critically examined. Lack of detailed correlation between light curves observed at 60-km separations on the Jovian limb argues against a detailed layering hypothesis. An approximate calculation shows that the observed features of the light cuves can be explained in terms of a model for which "spikes" are scintillations caused by Jovian atmospheric turbulence. A significant number of paired spikes are a consequence of the model if the occulted star is binary with an appropriate orientation. The statistical properties of spikes for Beta Scorpii A and C are predicted from Rytov theory for Kolmogorov turbulence and compared with the available observations. Finally, we discuss the effects of turbulent scattering on the temperature profile which is obtained by averaging over the effect of the spikes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-550
Number of pages14
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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