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Research Papers

Jupiter’s Red Oval BA: Dynamics, Color, and Relationship to Jovian Climate Change

[+] Author and Article Information
Philip S. Marcus

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of California,
Berkeley, CA 94720-1740
e-mail: pmarcus@me.berkeley.edu

Xylar Asay-Davis

Center for Nonlinear Studies,
Los Alamos National Laboratory,
Los Alamos, NM 87545
e-mail: xylar@lanl.gov

Michael H. Wong

e-mail: mikewong@astro.berkeley.edu

e-mail: imke@berkeley.edu
Department of Astronomy,
University of California,
Berkeley, CA 94720

Manuscript received November 8, 2010; final manuscript received September 7, 2012; published online December 6, 2012. Assoc. Editor: Akshai Runchal.

J. Heat Transfer 135(1), 011007 (Dec 06, 2012) (9 pages) Paper No: HT-10-1524; doi: 10.1115/1.4007666 History: Received November 08, 2010; Revised September 07, 2012

Jupiter now has a second red spot, the Oval BA. The first red spot, the Great Red Spot (GRS), is at least 180 yr old. The Oval BA formed in 2000 was originally white, but part turned red in 2005. Unlike the Great Red Spot, the red color of the Oval BA is confined to an annulus. The Oval’s horizontal velocity and shape and the elevation of the haze layer above it were unchanged between 2000 and 2006. These observations, coupled with Jupiter’s rapid rotation and stratification, are shown to imply that the Oval BA’s 3D properties, such as its vertical thickness, were also unchanged. Therefore, neither a change in size nor velocity caused the Oval BA to turn partially red. An atmospheric warming can account for both the timing of the color change of the Oval BA as well as the persistent confinement of its red color to an annulus.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Planetographic HST map (435, 502, and 658 nm) of Jupiter on April 24, 2006. The Oval BA and Great Red Spot are at 33 °S and 23 °S, respectively. Kilometer scales are approximate because they vary with latitude.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

North–south velocities along the east–west axis (33 °S) of the Oval BA in 2006 (solid line) when it had a red annulus and in 2000 (broken line) when it was all white; mean velocity uncertainties are 5.5 m/s and 3 m/s, respectively. At the peaks, the differences between the curves are greater than these uncertainties due to differences in resolution and to smoothing in the velocity-extraction algorithms [42]. Velocities are from HST (658 nm, April 24–25, 2006) and Cassini (December 11–13, 2000). Gray shading indicates the location of the red annulus in 2006–2008. The “bump” in the solid curve at longitude 5 deg lies in the wake of the Oval BA, which contains transients. The longitude origin is shifted so it is always at the center of the Oval BA.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Schematic of the Oval’s primary circumferential (green, or counterclockwise, arrow in the middle of the figure) and secondary circulations (blue arrows, or the arrows with vertical components). The primary flow is zero at the Oval’s top and bottom and is assumed to be greatest near the cloud elevation where the horizontal velocities were extracted (at the cloud sheet at z0). In the Oval’s upper part, the secondary circulation rises along the central vertical axis, cooling the gas, and it descends in an annulus near the Oval’s outer radial edge creating a warm annulus there. The flow in the Oval’s bottom part mirrors the flow in the top part. Red shading (or the shading near the top and bottom of the figure) denotes the warm annulus in the Oval’s top part and the warm core in the Oval’s bottom.

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