126 Thermal Wind Balance of Fluid Planets: The Effects of Oblateness, Centrifugal Forces, and Self-Gravitation

Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Salon A-E (Marriott Portland Downtown Waterfront)
Eli Galanti, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel; and Y. Kaspi

The nature of the flow below the cloud-level of Jupiter and Saturn is still unknown. Relating the flow on these planets to perturbations in their density field is key to the analysis of the high-precision gravity measurements expected from both the Juno (Jupiter, ongoing) and Cassini (Saturn, starting May 2017) spacecrafts. Both missions will provide latitude-dependent gravity fields, which in principle could be inverted to calculate the vertical structure of the observed cloud-level zonal flow on these planets. Given the size of these planets and their fast spin, simplifying assumptions, standardly made in the study of large-scale fluid motions on Earth, might not hold due to several physical processes. Those include the deviation from spherical symmetry, the centrifugal force due to density perturbations, and self-gravitational effects of the density perturbations themselves. Recent studies attempted to include some of these neglected terms, but lacked an overall approach that includes all effects in a self-consistent manner.
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