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Aerosol Properties of Debris from Fragments E/F of Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9

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DOI: 10.1006/icar.1996.0088


Abstract The physical properties of the aerosol debris of the E/F complex of Comet P/Shoemaker–Levy on Jupiter are analyzed and compared with the results obtained for the H impact (Moreno, F., O. Muñoz, A. Molina, J. J. López-Moreno, J. L. Ortiz, J. Rodriguez, A. López-Jimenez, and F. Girela 1995. Geophys. Res. Lett.22, 1609–1612). The observations were made at the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope at La Plama (Spain). High spatial resolution images corresponding to the night of July 18 and July 21, 1994, are considered here. Radiative transfer models in combination with a Mie scattering program were used to retrieve the possible values of aerosol properties and their spatial distribution compatible with these observations. The resulting physical properties of the particles are in agreement with those obtained for H impact: The imaginary refractive index varies between 0.02 at 3600 Å and 0.006 in the 9000 Å region, and their mean radius is 0.15 μm. The particles are found to be distributed between 1 and 450 mbar with a total column concentration of 9.15 × 10 9cm −2. We estimated a lower limit to the volume of the impact debris aerosol for the E/F site corresponding to a sphere of 360 m in diameter.

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