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Strong jet and a new thermal wave in Saturn's equatorial stratosphere

Liming, Li and Gierasch, Peter J. and Achterberg, Richard K. and Conrath, Barney J. and Flasar, F. Michael and Vasavada, Ashwin R. and Ingersoll, Andrew P. and Banfield, Don and Simon-Miller, Amy A. and Fletcher, Leigh N. (2008) Strong jet and a new thermal wave in Saturn's equatorial stratosphere. Geophysical Research Letters, 35 (23). Art. No. L23208. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/2008GL035515.

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[img] Image (TIFF) (Figure S1. A periodogram analysis of the equatorial wave at 1 mbar) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (TIFF) (Figure S2. Correlation between temperature maps at different pressure levels) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (TIFF) (Figure S3. Multifilter ISS images covering the equatorial region) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (TIFF) (Figure S4. Cross correlations between the two thermal maps in the first pair of Figure 2) - Supplemental Material
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The strong jet, with a speed between 500 and 600 m/s, is inferred in the equatorial region of Saturn by combining the nadir and limb observations of Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) aboard the Cassini spacecraft. A similar jet was discovered on Jupiter (F. M. Flasar et al., 2004a). These discoveries raise the possibility that intense jets are common in the equatorial stratospheres of giant planets. An equatorial wave with wavenumber ~9 is revealed in the stratosphere of Saturn by the CIRS high spatial-resolution thermal maps. Our discussion based on the phase velocity suggests that the equatorial wave is probably a Rossby-gravity wave. The discovery of an equatorial wave in the stratosphere suggests that Saturn's equatorial oscillations (T. Fouchet et al., 2008; G. S. Orton et al., 2008) may be driven by vertically propagating waves, the same mechanism that drives the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) on Earth.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Vasavada, Ashwin R.0000-0003-2665-286X
Ingersoll, Andrew P.0000-0002-2035-9198
Fletcher, Leigh N.0000-0001-5834-9588
Additional Information:Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union. Received 29 July 2008; revised 30 September 2008; accepted 21 October 2008; published 13 December 2008.
Subject Keywords:jet, wave, Saturn
Issue or Number:23
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:LIMgrl08
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Liming, L., P. J. Gierasch, R. K. Achterberg, B. J. Conrath, F. M. Flasar, A. R. Vasavada, A. P. Ingersoll, D. Banfield, A. A. Simon-Miller, and L. N. Fletcher (2008), Strong jet and a new thermal wave in Saturn's equatorial stratosphere, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L23208, doi:10.1029/2008GL035515.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:12936
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:11 Jan 2009 04:20
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:34

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