Volume 403, Number 1, May III 2003
|Page(s)||L7 - L10|
|Published online||29 April 2003|
Letter to the Editor
The infrared spectrum of Neptune at 3.5–4.1 microns: Search for H and evidence for recent meteorological variations *
Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Postfach 1603, 85740 Garching, Germany
2 LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, 5 place Janssen, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France e-mail: Therese.Encrenaz@obspm.fr
Corresponding author: H. Feuchtgruber, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 19 March 2003
The infrared spectrum of Neptune at m and m has been measured at a spectral resolution of 1200. The observed flux is stronger by a factor ~3 compared to previous measurements, suggesting important meteorological variations between 1997 and 2002. The flux is detected mostly from a bright belt at mid-southern latitudes. Strong absorptions, identified as methane, are observed over the L band. The observed spectrum can be fitted by a multilayer model assuming that the solar light is partly reflected above several layers, including the haze and stratospheric photochemical hazes. An upper limit to a disk averaged column density of of is reported, consistent with present ionospheric models.
Key words: line: formation / radiative transfer / planets and satellites: individual: Neptune / infrared: solar system
© ESO, 2003
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