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Measurement of Jupiter’s asymmetric gravity field

Iess, L. and Folkner, W. M. and Durante, D. and Parisi, M. and Kaspi, Y. and Galanti, E. and Guillot, T. and Hubbard, W. B. and Stevenson, D. J. and Anderson, J. D. and Buccino, D. R. and Gomez Casajus, L. and Milani, A. and Park, R. and Racioppa, P. and Serra, D. and Tortora, P. and Zannoni, M. and Cao, H. and Helled, R. and Lunine, J. I. and Miguel, Y. and Militzer, B. and Wahl, S. and Connerney, J. E. P. and Levin, S. M. and Bolton, S. J. (2018) Measurement of Jupiter’s asymmetric gravity field. Nature, 555 (7695). pp. 220-222. ISSN 0028-0836.

[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Figure 1 : Range-rate residuals) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Figure 2 : Frequency stability) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Figure 3 : Gravity harmonic signatures) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Figure 4 : Io torus effects on the estimation of J_3–J_5) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Figure 5 : Io torus effects on the estimation of J_2–J_4) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Table 1: Characteristics of perijove passes PJ3 and PJ6 used in the gravity solution) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Table 2: Consider analysis covariances (3σ)) - Supplemental Material
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The gravity harmonics of a fluid, rotating planet can be decomposed into static components arising from solid-body rotation and dynamic components arising from flows. In the absence of internal dynamics, the gravity field is axially and hemispherically symmetric and is dominated by even zonal gravity harmonics J_(2n) that are approximately proportional to q^n, where q is the ratio between centrifugal acceleration and gravity at the planet’s equator. Any asymmetry in the gravity field is attributed to differential rotation and deep atmospheric flows. The odd harmonics, J_3, J_5, J_7, J_9 and higher, are a measure of the depth of the winds in the different zones of the atmosphere. Here we report measurements of Jupiter’s gravity harmonics (both even and odd) through precise Doppler tracking of the Juno spacecraft in its polar orbit around Jupiter. We find a north–south asymmetry, which is a signature of atmospheric and interior flows. Analysis of the harmonics, described in two accompanying papers, provides the vertical profile of the winds and precise constraints for the depth of Jupiter’s dynamical atmosphere.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Durante, D.0000-0002-7888-3021
Kaspi, Y.0000-0003-4089-0020
Galanti, E.0000-0002-5440-8779
Guillot, T.0000-0002-7188-8428
Stevenson, D. J.0000-0001-9432-7159
Cao, H.0000-0002-6917-8363
Lunine, J. I.0000-0003-2279-4131
Miguel, Y.0000-0002-0747-8862
Connerney, J. E. P.0000-0001-7478-6462
Levin, S. M.0000-0003-2242-5459
Bolton, S. J.0000-0002-9115-0789
Alternate Title:Asymmetric gravity field of Jupiter
Additional Information:© 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited. received 20 September 2017; accepted 18 January 2018. This research was carried out at the Sapienza University of Rome, University of Bologna and University of Pisa under the sponsorship of the Italian Space Agency; at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a NASA contract; by the Southwest Research Institute under a NASA contract. Support was provided also by the Israeli Space Agency (Y.K. and E.G.) and the Centre National d'Études Spatiales (T.G. and Y.M.). All authors acknowledge support from the Juno Project. Author Contributions: L.I. and W.M.F. led the experiment and supervised the data analysis. L.I. wrote most of the manuscript. D.D. and M.P. carried out the gravity data analysis. Y.K. and E.G. provided models of the asymmetric and tesseral gravity field. Y.K., E.G., T.G., W.B.H. and D.J.S. carried out consistency checks with interior models and provided theoretical support. D.R.B. planned and supervised the data collection. P.R. designed and coded the orbit determination filter used in this analysis. L.G.C., P.T. and M.Z. provided the media calibrations. J.D.A., A.M., R.P. and D.S. advised on the data analysis. H.C., R.H., J.I.L., Y.M., B.M. and S.W. helped in the definition of the scientific objectives of the measurements. J.E.P.C., S.M.L. and S.J.B. supervised the planning and execution of the gravity experiment. Data availability: The Juno tracking data and the ancillary information used in this analysis are archived at NASA’s Planetary Data System ( Code availability: The analysis presented in this work relies on proprietary orbit determination codes that are not publicly available. The MONTE software package is used at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for planetary spacecraft navigation. The ORACLE orbit determination filter was developed at Sapienza University of Rome under contract with the Italian Space Agency. The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)UNSPECIFIED
Israeli Space AgencyUNSPECIFIED
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7695
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180105-103445288
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:84125
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:08 Mar 2018 00:39
Last Modified:13 Apr 2020 18:09

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