Gravitational signature of Jupiter's internal dynamics

Yohai Kaspi, William B. Hubbard, Adam P. Showman, Glenn R. Flierl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Telescopic observations and space missions to Jupiter have provided vast information about Jupiter's cloud level winds, but the depth to which these winds penetrate has remained an ongoing mystery. Scheduled to be launched in 2011, the Jupiter orbiter Juno will make high-resolution observations of Jupiter's gravity field. In this paper we show that these measurements are sensitive to the depth of the internal winds. We use dynamical models ranging from an idealized thermal wind balance analysis, using the observed cloud-top winds, to a full general circulation model (GCM). We relate the depth of the dynamics to the external gravity spectrum for different internal wind structure scenarios. In particular, we predict that substantial Jovian winds below a depth of 500 km would lead to detectable (milligal-level) gravity anomalies with respect to the expected gravity for a planet in solid body rotation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL01204
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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