Differential rotation in Jupiter: A comparison of methods

J. Wisdom, W. B. Hubbard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Whether Jupiter rotates as a solid body or has some element of differential rotation along concentric cylinders is unknown. But Jupiter's zonal wind is not north/south symmetric so at most some average of the north/south zonal winds could be an expression of cylinders. Here we explore the signature in the gravitational moments of such a smooth differential rotation. We carry out this investigation with two general methods for solving for the interior structure of a differentially rotating planet: the CMS method of Hubbard (Hubbard, W.B. [2013]. Astrophys. J. 768, 1-8) and the CLC method of Wisdom (Wisdom, J. [1996]. Non-Perturbative Hydrostatic Equilibrium. http://web.mit.edu/wisdom/www/interior.pdf). The two methods are in remarkable agreement. We find that for smooth differential rotation the moments do not level off as they do for strong differential rotation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Mar 15 2016


  • Geophysics
  • Jupiter
  • Jupiter, interior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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