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Clusters of Cyclones Encircling Jupiter's Poles

Adiani, A. and Mura, A. and Orton, G. and Hansen, C. and Altieri, F. and Moriconi, M. L. and Rogers, J. and Eischstädt, G. and Momary, T. and Ingersoll, Andrew P. and Filacchione, G. and Sindoni, G. and Tabataba-Vakili, F. and Dinelli, B. and Fabiano, F. and Bolton, S. J. and Connerney, J. E. P. and Atreya, S. K. and Lunine, J. I. and Tosi, F. and Migliorini, A. and Grassi, D. and Piccioni, G. and Noschese, R. and Cicchetti, A. and Plainaki, C. and Olivieri, A. and O'Neill, M. E. and Turrini, D. and Stefani, S. and Sordini, R. and Amoroso, M. (2018) Clusters of Cyclones Encircling Jupiter's Poles. Nature, 555 (7695). pp. 216-219. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/nature25491.

[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Figure 1 : Comparison of the polar cyclonic structures between PJ4 and PJ5.) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Figure 2 : Annotated version of the JunoCam images of the poles) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Table 1: JIRAM start time, stop time and number of observations for the different datasets used for this study) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Table 2: Details of the JunoCam observations) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Archive (ZIP) (contains multiple videos) - Supplemental Material
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The familiar axisymmetric zones and belts that characterize Jupiter’s weather system at lower latitudes give way to pervasive cyclonic activity at higher latitudes. Two-dimensional turbulence in combination with the Coriolis β-effect (that is, the large meridionally varying Coriolis force on the giant planets of the Solar System) produces alternating zonal flows. The zonal flows weaken with rising latitude so that a transition between equatorial jets and polar turbulence on Jupiter can occur. Simulations with shallow-water models of giant planets support this transition by producing both alternating flows near the equator and circumpolar cyclones near the poles. Jovian polar regions are not visible from Earth owing to Jupiter’s low axial tilt, and were poorly characterized by previous missions because the trajectories of these missions did not venture far from Jupiter’s equatorial plane. Here we report that visible and infrared images obtained from above each pole by the Juno spacecraft during its first five orbits reveal persistent polygonal patterns of large cyclones. In the north, eight circumpolar cyclones are observed about a single polar cyclone; in the south, one polar cyclone is encircled by five circumpolar cyclones. Cyclonic circulation is established via time-lapse imagery obtained over intervals ranging from 20 minutes to 4 hours. Although migration of cyclones towards the pole might be expected as a consequence of the Coriolis β-effect, by which cyclonic vortices naturally drift towards the rotational pole, the configuration of the cyclones is without precedent on other planets (including Saturn’s polar hexagonal features). The manner in which the cyclones persist without merging and the process by which they evolve to their current configuration are unknown.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Adiani, A.0000-0003-4998-8008
Orton, G.0000-0001-7871-2823
Altieri, F.0000-0002-6338-8300
Moriconi, M. L.0000-0003-2609-2620
Ingersoll, Andrew P.0000-0002-2035-9198
Sindoni, G.0000-0002-3348-7930
Bolton, S. J.0000-0002-9115-0789
Connerney, J. E. P.0000-0001-7478-6462
Atreya, S. K.0000-0002-1972-1815
Lunine, J. I.0000-0003-2279-4131
Additional Information:© 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited. received 24 July; accepted 15 November 2017. The JIRAM project is founded by the Italian Space Agency (ASI). In particular this work has been developed under the ASI-INAF agreement number 2016-23-H.0. The JunoCam instrument and its operations are funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. A portion of this work was supported by NASA funds to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to the California Institute of Technology, and to the Southwest Research Institute. A.P.I. was supported by NASA funds to the Juno project and by NSF grant number 1411952. Author Contributions: A.A. and C.H. are the Juno mission instrument leads for the JIRAM and JunoCam instruments, respectively, and they planned and implemented the observations discussed in this paper. S.J.B. and J.E.P.C. are respectively the principal and the deputy responsible for the Juno mission. A.A., A. Mura, G.O., J.R., A.I. and F.T.-V. were responsible for writing substantial parts of the paper. M.E.O’N. helped with the interpretation of the cyclonic structure. A. Mura, F.A., M.L.M. and D.G. were responsible for reduction and measurement of the JIRAM data and their rendering into graphical formats. G.E., T.M., G.O. and J.R. were responsible for the same tasks for JunoCam data. F.T.-V. and F.F. were responsible for the geometric calibration of the JIRAM data. G.F., G.S., B.M.D. and S.S. were responsible for the JIRAM data radiance calibrations. A.C., R.N. and R.S. were responsible for the JIRAM ground segment. S.K.A., J.I.L., A. Migliorini, D.T, G.P. and D.T. supervised the work. C.P., A.O. and M.A. were responsible for the JIRAM project from the Italian Space Agency side. Data availability: The data used for this study will be available once the proprietary period ends, namely about six months after the data were collected by Juno, from the NASA’s Planetary Data System at The JunoCam data are all available for direct download from the Mission Juno web site in both raw and processed form: The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)2016-23-H.0
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7695
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171214-163254781
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83934
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:08 Mar 2018 01:10
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:15

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