Status Report

Seismology of Giant Planets

By SpaceRef Editor
November 6, 2014
Filed under , ,

Patrick Gaulme, Benoit Mosser, Francois-Xavier Schmider, Tristan Guillot

(Submitted on 6 Nov 2014)

Seismology applied to giant planets could drastically change our understanding of their deep interiors, as it has happened with the Earth, the Sun, and many main-sequence and evolved stars. The study of giant planets’ composition is important for understanding both the mechanisms enabling their formation and the origins of planetary systems, in particular our own. Unfortunately, its determination is complicated by the fact that their interior is thought not to be homogeneous, so that spectroscopic determinations of atmospheric abundances are probably not representative of the planet as a whole. Instead, the determination of their composition and structure must rely on indirect measurements and interior models. Giant planets are mostly fluid and convective, which makes their seismology much closer to that of solar-like stars than that of terrestrial planets. Hence, helioseismology techniques naturally transfer to giant planets. In addition, two alternative methods can be used: photometry of the solar light reflected by planetary atmospheres, and ring seismology in the specific case of Saturn. The current decade has been promising thanks to the detection of Jupiter’s acoustic oscillations with the ground-based imaging-spectrometer SYMPA and indirect detection of Saturn’s f-modes in its rings by the NASA Cassini orbiter. This has motivated new projects of ground-based and space-borne instruments that are under development. In this chapter, we review the science that seismology could help understand about the four giant planets, the instrumental and modeling approaches, and the most recent observational results.

Comments: In press as the chapter 14 of the book Extraterrestrial Seismology – Cambridge University Press – to be published in 2015

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:1411.1740 [astro-ph.EP]  (or arXiv:1411.1740v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Patrick Gaulme 

[v1] Thu, 6 Nov 2014 20:46:23 GMT (715kb)


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