Science Highlights

First measurement of the direction of atmospheric circulation on Titan

The HIPWAC team used the Japanese Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea to measure the direction and speed of winds on Titan, Saturn's largest moon. The observations showed that Titan has jet streams at high latitudes; the wind travels in the same direction as Titan's rotation; and that the stratospheric winds move at slower velocities near the equatorial regions, as the jet stream model predicts.

  • Kostiuk, T., K. Fast, T. A. Livengood, T. Hewagama, J. Goldstein, F. Espenak, and D. Buhl 2001. Direct measurement of winds on Titan. Geophys. Res. Lett. 28, 2361-2364, DOI: 2310.1029/ 2000GL012617
  • Kostiuk, T., T. A. Livengood, T. Hewagama, G. Sonnabend, K. E. Fast, K. Murakawa, A. T. Tokunaga, J. Annen, D. Buhl and F. Schmülling 2005 Titan's stratospheric zonal wind, temperature, and ethane abundance a year prior to Huygens insertion. Geophy. Res. Lett., 32, L22205, doi:10.1029/2005GL023897.
  • Kostiuk, T., T. A. Livengood, G. Sonnabend, K. E. Fast, T. Hewagama, K. Murakawa, A. T. Tokunaga, J. Annen, D. Buhl, F. Schmülling, D. Luz, O. Witasse 2006. Stratospheric zonal winds on Titan at the time of Huygens decent.
    J. Geophys. Res., 111, E07S03, doi:10.1029/2005JE002630.

First ground-based measurements of ozone in the atmosphere of Mars

HIPWAC provided the first and only measurements of ozone abundance in the Martian atmosphere by a ground-based telescope. Such measurements, especially when combined with ozone observations by spacecraft orbiting Mars, provide data that essential for developing accurate theoretical models of the Martian climate.

  • Espenak, F., M. J. Mumma, and T. Kostiuk 1991. Ground-based infrared measurements of the global distribution of ozone in the atmosphere of Mars. Icarus 92, 252-262.
  • Fast, K. E., T. Kostiuk, F. Espenak, J. Annen, D. Buhl, T. Hewagama, M. F. A'Hearn, D. Zipoy, T. A. Livengood, G. Sonnabend and F. Schmülling 2006. Ozone abundance on Mars from infrared heterodyne spectra I: Acquisition, retrieval, and anticorrelation with water vapor. Icarus, 181, 419-431, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2005.12.001.
  • Fast, K. E., T. Kostiuk, F. Lefèvre, T. Hewagama, T. A. Livengood, J. D. Delgado, J. Annen and G. Sonnabend 2009. Comparison of HIPWAC and Mars Express SPICAM observations of ozone on Mars 2006-2008 and variation from 1993 IRHS observations, Icarus 203, 20-27, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2009.05.005.

First direct measurement of sub-solar to anti-solar winds on Venus

The Goddard Infrared Heterodyne Spectrometer was first to measure the effect of solar heating on the winds in the thermosphere and mesosphere on Venus.

  • Kostiuk, T., K. E. Fast, T. A. Livengood, F. Schmülling, T. Hewagama, J. Annen, D. Buhl, G. Sonnabend, M. Sornig, P. Kroetz and J. Goldstein 2010. Lasers and the Dynamic Mesosphere/Thermosphere of Venus, International Venus Conference, Aussois, France, 20-26 June 2010.
  • Goldstein, J., M. J. Mumma, T. Kostiuk, D. Deming, F. Espenak, and D. Zipoy 1991. Absolute Wind Velocities in the Lower Thermosphere of Venus Using Infrared Heterodyne Spectroscopy. Icarus 94, 45-63.

High-resolution spectrographic observations of Jupiter impacts

The Goddard Infrared Heterodyne Spectrometer (the predecessor instrument of HIPWAC) was used to observe fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact with the stratosphere of Jupiter from July 12 to August 7, 1994. The instrument directly detected ammonia that had been transported into the Jovian upper atmosphere by the impacts. HIPWAC was later used to measure changes in ethane abundance in Jupiter's stratosphere after an unanticipated impact in July 2009

  • Fast, K., T. Kostiuk, P. Romani, F. Espenak, T. Hewagama, A. Betz, R. Boreiko, T. Livengood 2002. Temporal behavior of stratospheric ammonia abundance and temperature following the SL9 impacts. Icarus 156, 485-497.
  • Kostiuk, T., D. Buhl, F. Espenak, P. Romani, G. Bjoraker, K. Fast, T. Livengood, and D. Zipoy 1996. Stratospheric ammonia on Jupiter after the SL9 collisions. Icarus 121, 431-441.
  • Orton, G. et al. 1995. Collision of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter observed by the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, Science 267, 1277-1288.
  • Fast, K. E., T. Kostiuk, T. A. Livengood, T. Hewagama and J. Annen 2011. Modification of Jupiter's stratosphere three weeks after the 2009 impact, Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.Icarus.2011.02.008.