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Title: Cloud clearing in the wake of Saturn's Great Storm of 2010 - 2011 and suggested new constraints on Saturn's He/H2 ratio
Author: L. A. Sromovsky, K. H. Baines, P. M. Fry, T. W. Momary

Saturn's Great Storm of 2010 - 2011 produced a planet-encircling wake that slowly transitioned from a region that was mainly dark at 5 microns in February 2011 to a region that was almost entirely bright and remarkably uniform by December of 2012. The uniformity and high emission levels suggested that the entire wake region had been cleared not only of the ammonia clouds that the storm had generated and exposed, but also of any other aerosols that might provide significant blocking of the thermal emission from Saturn's deeper and warmer atmospheric layers. Our analysis of VIMS wake spectra from December 2012 provides no evidence of ammonia ice absorption, but shows that at least one significant cloud layer remained behind: a non-absorbing layer of 3 - 4 optical depths (at 2 microns) extending from 150 to ~400 mbar. A second layer of absorbing and scattering particles, with less than 1 optical depth and located near 1 bar, is also suggested, but its existence as a model requirement depends on what value of the He/H2 ratio is assumed. The observations can be fit well with just a single (upper) cloud layer for a He/H2 ratio of 0.064 in combination with a PH3 deep volume mixing ratio of 5 ppm. At lower He/H2 ratios, the observed spectra can be modelled without particles in this region. At higher ratios, in order to fit the brightest wake spectrum, models must include either significant cloud opacity in this region, or significantly increased absorption by PH3, NH3, and AsH3. As the exceptional horizontal uniformity in the late wake is most easily understood as a complete removal of a deep cloud layer, and after considering independent constraints on trace gas mixing ratios, we conclude that the existence of this remarkable wake uniformity is most consistent with a He/H2 mixing ratio of 0.055 (+0.010, -0.015), which is on the low side of the 0.038 - 0.135 range of previous estimates.

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Title: Saturn's Great Storm of 2010-2011: Evidence for ammonia and water ices from analysis of VIMS spectra
Author: Lawrence Sromovsky, Kevin Baines, Patrick Fry

Our analysis of Cassini/VIMS near-infrared spectra of Saturn's Great Storm of 2010-2011 reveals a multi-component aerosol composition comprised primarily of ammonia ice, with a significant component of water ice. The most likely third component is ammonium hydrosulfide or some weakly absorbing material similar to what dominates visible clouds outside the storm region. Horizontally heterogeneous models favor ammonium hydrosulfide as the third component, while horizontally uniform models favor the weak absorber. Both models rely on water ice absorption to compensate for residual spectral gradients produced by ammonia ice from 3.0 microns to 3.1 microns and need the third component to fill in the sharp ammonia ice absorption peak near 2.96 microns. The best heterogeneous model has spatial coverage fractions of 55% ammonia ice, 22% water ice, and 23% ammonium hydrosulfide. The best homogeneous model has an optically thin layer of weakly absorbing particles above an optically thick layer of water ice particles coated by ammonia ice. This is the first spectroscopic evidence of water ice in Saturn's atmosphere, found near the level of Saturn's visible cloud deck where it could only be delivered by powerful convection originating from ~200 km deeper in the atmosphere.

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