, Volume 116, Issue 1-2, pp 121-136

Coupled Clouds and Chemistry of the Giant Planets— A Case for Multiprobes

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Abstract

In seeking to understand the formation of the giant planets and the origin of their atmospheres, the heavy element abundance in well-mixed atmosphere is key. However, clouds come in the way. Thus, composition and condensation are intimately intertwined with the mystery of planetary formation and atmospheric origin. Clouds also provide important clues to dynamical processes in the atmosphere. In this chapter we discuss the thermochemical processes that determine the composition, structure, and characteristics of the Jovian clouds. We also discuss the significance of clouds in the big picture of the formation of giant planets and their atmospheres. We recommend multiprobes at all four giant planets in order to break new ground.