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Observation of moist convection in Jupiter's atmosphere

Gierasch, P. J. and Ingersoll, A. P. and Banfield, D. and Ewald, S. P. and Helfenstein, P. and Simon-Miller, A. and Vasavada, A. and Breneman, H. H. and Senske, D. A. (2000) Observation of moist convection in Jupiter's atmosphere. Nature, 403 (6770). pp. 628-630. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/35001017.

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The energy source driving Jupiter's active meteorology is not understood. There are two main candidates: a poorly understood internal heat source and sunlight. Here we report observations of an active storm system possessing both lightning and condensation of water. The storm has a vertical extent of at least 50 km and a length of about 4,000 km. Previous observations of lightning on Jupiter have revealed both its frequency of occurrence and its spatial distribution, but they did not permit analysis of the detailed cloud structure and its dynamics. The present observations reveal the storm (on the day side of the planet) at the same location and within just a few hours of a lightning detection (on the night side). We estimate that the total vertical transport of heat by storms like the one observed here is of the same order as the planet's internal heat source. We therefore conclude that moist convection—similar to large clusters of thunderstorm cells on the Earth—is a dominant factor in converting heat flow into kinetic energy in the jovian atmosphere.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Ingersoll, A. P.0000-0002-2035-9198
Ewald, S. P.0000-0002-1567-9154
Vasavada, A.0000-0003-2665-286X
Additional Information:© 2000 Macmillan Magazines Ltd. Received 8 October; accepted 7 December 1999. This work has been supported by the NASA Planetary Atmospheres Program and the NASA Galileo Project. A. Hock and O. Othman assisted with map projections and image pointing corrections.
Group:UNSPECIFIED, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Issue or Number:6770
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150330-072904154
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Official Citation:Observation of moist convection in Jupiter's atmosphere p628 P. J. Gierasch, A. P. Ingersoll, D. Banfield, S. P. Ewald, P. Helfenstein, A. Simon-Miller, A. Vasavada, H. H. Breneman, D. A. Senske and Galileo Imaging Team doi:10.1038/35001017
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:56201
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:30 Mar 2015 16:09
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 20:56

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