A Caltech Library Service

Jupiter’s moment of inertia: A possible determination by Juno

Helled, Ravit and Anderson, John D. and Schubert, Gerald and Stevenson, David J. (2011) Jupiter’s moment of inertia: A possible determination by Juno. Icarus, 216 (2). pp. 440-448. ISSN 0019-1035.

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The moment of inertia of a giant planet reveals important information about the planet’s internal density structure and this information is not identical to that contained in the gravitational moments. The forthcoming Juno mission to Jupitermight determine Jupiter’s normalized moment of inertia NMoI = C/MR^2 by measuring Jupiter’s pole precession and the Lense–Thirring acceleration of the spacecraft (C is the axial moment of inertia, and M and R are Jupiter’s mass and mean radius, respectively). We investigate the possible range of NMoI values for Jupiter based on its measured gravitational field using a simple core/envelope model of the planet assuming that J_2 and J_4 are perfectly known and are equal to their measured values. The model suggests that for fixed values of J_2 and J_4 a range of NMoI values between 0.2629 and 0.2645 can be found. The Radau–Darwin relation gives a NMoI value that is larger than the model values by less than 1%. A low NMoI of ∼0.236, inferred from a dynamical model (Ward, W.R., Canup, R.M. [2006]. Astrophys. J. 640, L91–L94) is inconsistent with this range, but the range is model dependent. Although we conclude that the NMoI is tightly constrained by the gravity coefficients, a measurement of Jupiter’s NMoI to a few tenths of percent by Juno could provide an important constraint on Jupiter’s internal structure. We carry out a simplified assessment of the error involved in Juno’s possible determination of Jupiter’s NMoI.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Stevenson, David J.0000-0001-9432-7159
Additional Information:© 2011 Elsevier Inc. Received 18 May 2011, Revised 9 September 2011, Accepted 15 September 2011, Available online 2 October 2011.
Subject Keywords:Jupiter; Jupiter, Interior; Interiors
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190401-101656421
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Ravit Helled, John D. Anderson, Gerald Schubert, David J. Stevenson, Jupiter’s moment of inertia: A possible determination by Juno, Icarus, Volume 216, Issue 2, 2011, Pages 440-448, ISSN 0019-1035, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:94313
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:01 Apr 2019 17:24
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 21:02

Repository Staff Only: item control page