Forward and inverse modeling for jovian seismology

Jason Jackiewicz, Nadine Nettelmann, Mark Marley, Jonathan Fortney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Jupiter is expected to pulsate in a spectrum of acoustic modes and recent re-analysis of a spectroscopic time series has identified a regular pattern in the spacing of the frequencies (Gaulme, P., Schmider, F.-X., Gay, J., Guillot, T., Jacob, C. [2011]. Astron. Astrophys. 531, A104). This exciting result can provide constraints on gross jovian properties and warrants a more in-depth theoretical study of the seismic structure of Jupiter. With current instrumentation, such as the SYMPA instrument (Schmider, F.X. [2007]. Astron. Astrophys. 474, 1073-1080) used for the Gaulme et al. (Gaulme, P., Schmider, F.-X., Gay, J., Guillot, T., Jacob, C. [2011]. Astron. Astrophys. 531, A104) analysis, we assume that, at minimum, a set of global frequencies extending up to angular degree ℓ=25 could be observed. In order to identify which modes would best constraining models of Jupiters interior and thus help motivate the next generation of observations, we explore the sensitivity of derived parameters to this mode set. Three different models of the jovian interior are computed and the theoretical pulsation spectrum from these models for ℓ≤25 is obtained. We compute sensitivity kernels and perform linear inversions to infer details of the expected discontinuities in the profiles in the jovian interior. We find that the amplitude of the sound-speed jump of a few percent in the inner/outer envelope boundary seen in two of the applied models should be reasonably inferred with these particular modes. Near the core boundary where models predict large density discontinuities, the location of such features can be accurately measured, while their amplitudes have more uncertainty. These results suggest that this mode set would be sufficient to infer the radial location and strength of expected discontinuities in Jupiters interior, and place strong constraints on the core size and mass. We encourage new observations to detect these jovian oscillations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)844-854
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Abundances, Interiors
  • Jupiter
  • Jupiter, interior
  • Planetary formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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