Temperature of the atmosphere of Jupiter from Pioneer 10/11 radio occultations

Arvydas J. Kliore, Peter M. Woiceshyn, William B. Hubbard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Radio occultation data from the flybys of Pioneer 10 and 11 have been analyzed using a technique which accounts for the oblateness of Jupiter's atmosphere. The center of refraction is located by the radius of curvature and the normal at the closest approach point of the ray. An Abelian inversion of the data is then carried out holding the center of refraction fixed at some average value for each occultation event. Applying this approximate theory, for the three measurements described herein, the results are consistent, showing a temperature inversion between the 10 and 100 mb levels, with temperatures between 130 and 170° K at the 10 mb level and 80 to 120° K at 100 mb. These results are also in agreement with models for the temperature in the Jovian atmosphere derived from Pioneer 10 infrared radiometer data as well as those constructed from radiative‐convective balance calculations. Nevertheless, all results derived from radio occultation measurements of Jupiter are ultimately limited in their validity at the highest pressures by a lack of detailed knowledge of the shape of isobaric contours in Jupiter's atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-116
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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