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A preliminary dynamic view of the circulation of Jupiter's atmosphere

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The problem of the gross nature of the Jovian atmospheric circulation is examined from the viewpoint of the following previous findings of the writer and others. 1) The equatorial acceleration cannot be accounted for by axisymmetric motions. 2) The departures from symmetry in a rotating system having an equatorial acceleration must impart angular momentum selectively to those particles moving toward the jet maximum and abstract it from those moving away. 3) These selective (pressure) torques and associated sorting processes arise spontaneously in the presence of a vertical convection mode involving motions not independent of longitude, if the cell sizes and other conditions are right.

Since there is evidence that Jovian dark spots have statistical maxima of occurrence along the tropical shear lines flanking the equator, these are assumed to be vertical convective systems forming, in effect,convective vortex sheets which generate the high angular momentum of the equatorial zone. Various additional concepts are discussed, and many comparisons with conditions in the sun and in the earth's atmosphere are made.

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Starr, V.P. A preliminary dynamic view of the circulation of Jupiter's atmosphere. PAGEOPH 110, 2108–2129 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00876575

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  • Vortex
  • Torque
  • Angular Momentum
  • Dark Spot
  • Convective System