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Comparison of the deep atmospheric dynamics of Jupiter and Saturn in light of the Juno and Cassini gravity measurements

Kaspi, Yohai and Galanti, Eli and Showman, Adam P. and Stevenson, David J. and Guillot, Tristan and Iess, Luciano and Bolton, Scott J. (2020) Comparison of the deep atmospheric dynamics of Jupiter and Saturn in light of the Juno and Cassini gravity measurements. Space Science Reviews, 216 (5). Art. No. 84. ISSN 0038-6308. doi:10.1007/s11214-020-00705-7.

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The nature and structure of the observed east-west flows on Jupiter and Saturn have been a long-standing mystery in planetary science. This mystery has been recently unraveled by the accurate gravity measurements provided by the Juno mission to Jupiter and the Grand Finale of the Cassini mission to Saturn. These two experiments, which coincidentally happened around the same time, allowed the determination of the overall vertical and meridional profiles of the zonal flows on both planets. This paper reviews the topic of zonal jets on the gas giants in light of the new data from these two experiments. The gravity measurements not only allow the depth of the jets to be constrained, yielding the inference that the jets extend to roughly 3000 and 9000 km below the observed clouds on Jupiter and Saturn, respectively, but also provide insights into the mechanisms controlling these zonal flows. Specifically, for both planets this depth corresponds to the depth where electrical conductivity is within an order of magnitude of 1 S m⁻¹, implying that the magnetic field likely plays a key role in damping the zonal flows. An intrinsic characteristic of any gravity inversion, as discussed here, is that the solutions might not be unique. We analyze the robustness of the solutions and present several independent lines of evidence supporting the results presented here.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Kaspi, Yohai0000-0003-4089-0020
Galanti, Eli0000-0002-5440-8779
Stevenson, David J.0000-0001-9432-7159
Guillot, Tristan0000-0002-7188-8428
Bolton, Scott J.0000-0002-9115-0789
Additional Information:© 2020 Springer Verlag. Received 26 August 2019; Accepted 09 June 2020; Published 30 June 2020.
Group:Astronomy Department
Subject Keywords:Jupiter; Saturn; Juno; Cassini; Planetary atmospheres; Gravity science
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190830-103316561
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Kaspi, Y., Galanti, E., Showman, A.P. et al. Comparison of the Deep Atmospheric Dynamics of Jupiter and Saturn in Light of the Juno and Cassini Gravity Measurements. Space Sci Rev 216, 84 (2020).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:98369
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Aug 2019 18:12
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:38

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