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Title: Detection of hydrogen sulfide above the clouds in Uranus’s atmosphere
Authors: Irwin, Patrick G. J.
Toledo, Daniel
Garland, Ryan
Teanby, Nicholas A.
Fletcher, Leigh N.
Orton, Glenn A.
Bézard, Bruno
First Published: 23-Apr-2018
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Citation: Nature Astronomy, 2018, 2, pp. 420–427
Abstract: Visible-to-near-infrared observations indicate that the cloud top of the main cloud deck on Uranus lies at a pressure level of between 1.2 bar and 3 bar. However, its composition has never been unambiguously identified, although it is widely assumed to be composed primarily of either ammonia or hydrogen sulfide (H2S) ice. Here, we present evidence of a clear detection of gaseous H2S above this cloud deck in the wavelength region 1.57–1.59 μm with a mole fraction of 0.4–0.8 ppm at the cloud top. Its detection constrains the deep bulk sulfur/nitrogen abundance to exceed unity (>4.4–5.0 times the solar value) in Uranus’s bulk atmosphere, and places a lower limit on the mole fraction of H2S below the observed cloud of ( 1.0 - 2.5 ) ×1 0 - 5 . The detection of gaseous H2S at these pressure levels adds to the weight of evidence that the principal constituent of 1.2–3-bar cloud is likely to be H2S ice.
DOI Link: 10.1038/s41550-018-0432-1
eISSN: 2397-3366
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2018, Nature Publishing Group. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 6 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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