Three researchers, two from Harvard University and the other from the University of Alberta, have found evidence that the time of Saturn and Jupiter may be driven by dramatically different forces from Earth time. In their article published in the magazine Scientific progress, Rakesh Kumar Yadav, Moritz Heimpel and Jeremy Blocksham describe computer simulations showing that Jupiter̵
Earth’s time is driven mainly by processes that take place in a thin layer of the atmosphere near the planet’s surface. For many years, such processes have been thought to move the time of other planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn. In this new effort, researchers are demonstrating that such theories may be wrong.
The work involved creating two simulations to mimic the conditions of Jupiter and Saturn. Instead of assuming that meteorological models are driven by turbulence just above the surface, the researchers programmed their simulations to take into account the turbulent convection that occurs in spherical shells as they rotate. In one such simulation, which they called the “thin shell” approach, the simulation was used to reproduce what happens to convection layers of gas giants such as Saturn and Jupiter – events they note have very little interaction with the magnetic field of the planet. They found that the simulation showed cyclones, zonal jets and anticyclones that formed spontaneously on both Jupiter and Saturn. The second simulation, which they called the “thick shell” approach, was programmed to mimic the interactions between the planet’s inner dynamo and the outer hydrodynamic layer. He showed the ejection of plumes from the magnetic layer, which gave rise to, as they describe, pancake-shaped weather patterns near the surface.
Researchers have suggested that some of the meteorological models on the two planets are likely to be driven by jet streams and processes below the surface. They also suggest that their simulations show that the famous red spot may have formed when the planet’s dynamo region began processes that led to the production of large anticyclones in the atmosphere.
Where were Jupiter and Saturn born?
Rakesh Kumar Yadav et al. Deep convection propulsion of vortex formations of Jupiter and Saturn, Scientific progress (2020). DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.abb9298
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Quote: The time of Jupiter and Saturn may be moving by different forces than on Earth (2020, November 16), obtained on November 16, 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-11-weather- jupiter-saturn-driven-earth. html
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