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Atmospheric science on the Galileo mission

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Observations from the ground and four fly-by spacecraft have provided initial reconnaissance of Jupiter's atmosphere. The Pioneer and Voyager data have raised new questions and underlined old ones about the basic state of the atmosphere and the processes determining the atmosphere's behavior. This paper discusses the main atmospheric science objectives which will be addressed by the Galileo (Orbiter and Probe) mission, organizing the discussion according to the required measurements of chemical composition, thermal structure, clouds, radiation budget, dynamics, upper atmosphere, and satellite atmospheres. Progress on the key questions will contribute not only to our knowledge of Jupiter's atmosphere but to a general understanding of atmospheric processes which will be valuable for helping us to understand the atmosphere and climate of the Earth.

Realization of the atmospheric science objectives of the Galileo mission depends upon: (a) coordinated measurements from the entry probe and the orbiter; (b) global observations; and (c) observations over the range of time-scales needed to characterize the basic dynamical processes.

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The Atmospheres Working Group also includes: M. D. Allison, M. J. S. Belton, R. W. Boese, R. W. Carlson, C. R. Chapman, T. Encrenaz, V. R. Eshleman, P. J. Gierasch, C. W. Hord, H. T. Howard, L. J. Lanzerotti, H. B. Niemann, G. S. Orton, T. Owen, C. B. Pilcher, J. B. Pollack, B. Ragent, W. B. Rossow, A. Seiff, A. I. Stewart, P. H. Stone, F. W. Taylor, G. L. Tyler, U. von Zahn, and R. A. West.

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Hunten, D.M., Colin, L. & Hansen, J.E. Atmospheric science on the Galileo mission. Space Sci Rev 44, 191–240 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00200817

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  • Radiation
  • Atmosphere
  • Dynamical Process
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Thermal Structure