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Comparison of the deep atmospheric dynamics of Jupiter and Saturn in light of the Juno and Cassini gravity measurements

By SpaceRef Editor
August 27, 2019
Filed under ,

Yohai Kaspi, Eli Galanti, Adam P. Showman, David J. Stevenson, Tristan Guillot, Luciano Iess, Scott J. Bolton

(Submitted on 26 Aug 2019)

The nature and structure of the observed east-west flows on Jupiter and Saturn has been one of the longest-lasting mysteries in planetary science. This mystery has been recently unraveled due to the accurate gravity measurements provided by the Juno mission to Jupiter and the Grand Finale of the Cassini mission to Saturn. These two experiments, which coincidentally happened around the same time, allowed determination of the vertical and meridional profiles of the zonal flows on both planets. This paper reviews the topic of zonal jets on the gas giants in light of the new data from these two experiments. The gravity measurements not only allow the depth of the jets to be constrained, yielding the inference that the jets extend roughly 3000 and 9000 km below the observed clouds on Jupiter and Saturn, respectively, but also provide insights into the mechanisms controlling these zonal flows. Specifically, for both planets this depth corresponds to the depth where electrical conductivity is within an order of magnitude of 1 S/m, implying that the magnetic field likely plays a key role in damping the zonal flows.

Comments: Submitted to Space Science Reviews. Part of ISSI special collection on Diversity of Atmospheres

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics (; Fluid Dynamics (physics.flu-dyn)

Cite as: arXiv:1908.09613 [astro-ph.EP]

  (or arXiv:1908.09613v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Yohai Kaspi  

[v1] Mon, 26 Aug 2019 11:55:35 UTC (1,824 KB)

SpaceRef staff editor.