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Microwave observations reveal the deep extent and structure of Jupiter’s atmospheric vortices

Bolton, S. J. and Levin, S. M. and Guillot, T. and Li, C. and Kaspi, Y. and Orton, G. and Wong, M. H. and Oyafuso, F. and Allison, M. and Arballo, J. and Atreya, S. and Becker, H. N. and Bloxham, J. and Brown, S. T. and Fletcher, L. N. and Galanti, E. and Gulkis, S. and Janssen, M. and Ingersoll, A. and Lunine, J. L. and Misra, S. and Steffes, P. and Stevenson, D. and Waite, J. H. and Yadav, R. K. and Zhang, Z. (2021) Microwave observations reveal the deep extent and structure of Jupiter’s atmospheric vortices. Science, 374 (6570). pp. 968-972. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.abf1015.

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Jupiter’s atmosphere has a system of zones and belts punctuated by small and large vortices, the largest being the Great Red Spot. How these features change with depth is unknown, with theories of their structure ranging from shallow meteorological features to surface expressions of deep-seated convection. We present observations of atmospheric vortices using the Juno spacecraft’s Microwave Radiometer. We found vortex roots that extend deeper than the altitude at which water is expected to condense, and we identified density inversion layers. Our results constrain the three-dimensional structure of Jupiter’s vortices and their extension below the clouds.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemMWR data ItemRaw HST data ItemRaw Gemini data
Bolton, S. J.0000-0002-9115-0789
Levin, S. M.0000-0003-2242-5459
Guillot, T.0000-0002-7188-8428
Li, C.0000-0002-8280-3119
Kaspi, Y.0000-0003-4089-0020
Orton, G.0000-0001-7871-2823
Wong, M. H.0000-0003-2804-5086
Oyafuso, F.0000-0002-8862-8737
Allison, M.0000-0001-9841-193X
Arballo, J.0000-0002-4487-4274
Atreya, S.0000-0002-1972-1815
Becker, H. N.0000-0001-5777-9850
Bloxham, J.0000-0001-8556-2675
Brown, S. T.0000-0002-7566-8537
Fletcher, L. N.0000-0001-5834-9588
Galanti, E.0000-0002-5440-8779
Gulkis, S.0000-0002-4480-3628
Janssen, M.0000-0001-5476-731X
Ingersoll, A.0000-0002-2035-9198
Lunine, J. L.0000-0003-2279-4131
Misra, S.0000-0003-1738-6635
Steffes, P.0000-0003-3962-8957
Stevenson, D.0000-0001-9432-7159
Waite, J. H.0000-0002-1978-1025
Yadav, R. K.0000-0002-9569-2438
Zhang, Z.0000-0002-1558-4948
Additional Information:© 2021 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 6 October 2020; accepted 28 September 2021. Published online 28 October 2021. We thank T. Fujiyoshi, J. Sinclair, and T. Momary for help in acquiring the Subaru data. S.J.B., J.H.W., S.M.L., J.A., S.T.B., S.G., G.O., and H.N.B. were funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). A portion of this research carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, was performed under contract 80NM0018D0004 with NASA. J.L.L. was funded by the Juno Project through a subcontract with the Southwest Research Institute. T.G. was funded by the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales. L.N.F. was supported by a Royal Society Research Fellowship and European Research Council Consolidator Grant (under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, grant agreement 723890). Y.K. and E.G. were sponsored by the Israeli Space Agency, the Helen Kimmel Center for Planetary Science at the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS). M.H.W. was funded by NASA through cooperative agreement 80NSSC19M0189 and Juno Participating Scientist grant 80NSSC19K1265. M.H.W. and G.O. were supported by grants GO-14661 and GO-15665 from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. Author contributions: S.J.B. led the data analysis and interpretation of the MWR data and drafted the manuscript with input from coauthors T.G., M.H.W., Y.K., J.L.L., and S.M.L.; A.I., J.A., S.T.B., S.G., C.L., G.O., M.H.W., F.O., Z.Z., H.N.B., J.B., R.K.Y., M.A., and L.N.F. assisted with writing, interpretation, data analysis, and comparison between the HST, Gemini, and MWR data. M.H.W. and G.O. contributed to the acquisition of Gemini and HST data. J.L.L., D.S., T.G., Y.K., E.G., M.J., S.M., P.S., S.A., J.H.W., R.K.Y., and J.B. assisted with the writing, modeling, and interpretation of the MWR data. Competing interests: M.H.W. is also affiliated with the University of Michigan. J.L.L. is also affiliated with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. Data and materials availability: The MWR data are available from the Planetary Data System at; we used the IRDR files in directories 2019096 and 2017191. The reduced HST and Gemini data are available at (34). The raw HST data are available at under Proposal ID 15665, and raw Gemini data are at under Program ID GN-2019A-Q-202. Our model results and Monte Carlo analysis code are archived at (35).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Southwest Research InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)723890
Israeli Space AgencyUNSPECIFIED
Weizmann Institute of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
NASANAS 5-26555
Issue or Number:6570
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20211103-145253753
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Microwave observations reveal the deep extent and structure of Jupiter’s atmospheric vortices. S. J. Bolton, S. M. Levin. T. Guillot, C. Li, Y. Kaspi, G. Orton, M. H. Wong, F. Oyafuso, M. AllisonJ. ArballoS. AtreyaH. N. BeckerJ. Bloxham, S. T. Brown, L. N. Fletcher, E. Galanti, S. Gulkis, M. Janssen, A. Ingersoll, J. L. LunineS. MisraP. SteffesD. StevensonJ. H. Waite, R. K. Yadav, Z. Zhang. Science, 374 (6570), pp. 968-972; DOI: 10.1126/science.abf1015
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:111723
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:03 Nov 2021 15:44
Last Modified:24 Nov 2021 18:20

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