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Turbulence in Saturn’s Atmosphere from the HST OPAL Program

Presentation #201.02 in the session “Giant Planets 3: Saturn”.

Published onOct 26, 2020
Turbulence in Saturn’s Atmosphere from the HST OPAL Program

We will present Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations of Saturn from 2018-2020 as part of the Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) program. Saturn’s northern hemisphere is analyzed with Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) techniques to investigate periodic structure in the different intensity bands observed at several filters and zonal wind shear zones; anti-cyclonic and cyclonic. FFT analyses of these different latitudinal regions generated turbulent power spectra of passive tracers, which can inform us on the flow of energy from small to large scales and vice versa. The transition is the power spectra indicate which theoretical dynamical scales are dominating the morphology of Saturn’s atmosphere in a particular region. We find that the lowest latitudes have distinct power spectral features when compared to other regions on the planet. We also compare and contrast the different shear zone results to other turbulent studies of Jupiter and characterize how the two planets are both similar and unique in certain aspects.

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