PJ29: Turbulence, annotated

2020-10-23 17:31 UT
Credit : NASA / JPL / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstädt © cc by
Submitted By : Maquet-80
Mission Phase : PERIJOVE 29
Source Image(s) : JNCE_2020260_29C00019_V01

This high-passed, contrast-normalized, saturation-enhanced, rotated and sharpened crop of a north polar, equidistant azimuthal map of Jupiter is resolved with 60 pixels per planetocentric degree. It is derived from the raw PJ29 JunoCam image #19. It shows details of the turbulence of northern folded filamentary regions.

Cyclonic and anticyclonic vortices of all scales are densely crowded and interacting.

This is also the settings where powerful thunderstorms appear to occur most frequently in Jupiter.

Juno's future flybys are expected to take a gradually closer look at this complex dynamics, since the point of closest approach of each orbit is shifting northward.

The annotation is dedicated to the interaction between vortices.

Large vortices in an atmosphere layer of a rotating planet can be roughly split into two classes, cyclonic and anticyclonic vortices.

Based on this rough classification, two interacting vortices can either be of the same or of opposite sign. Tightly interacting vortices of opposite sign tend to mutually propell each other, hence the whole pair, if they are of similar strength and size.

Tightly interacting vortex pairs of the same sign tend to merge. More distant like-signed vortex pairs may essentially repell each other. Interacting vortices tend to create filaments, some of which may split into fragments and further collapse into streets of small eddies.

JunoCam provides us with snapshots of the large- and mesoscale turbulence in Jupiter's atmosphere marked by cloud features.