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Vertical storm extent on Jupiter through coupled radio and visible observations

Presentation #205.03 in the session Vortices and Plumes on Jupiter.

Published onOct 20, 2022
Vertical storm extent on Jupiter through coupled radio and visible observations

The vertical extent of storm systems and weather features reveals the processes that drive atmospheric patterns. While visible observations of planetary atmospheres are useful to constrain cloud top properties, they are agnostic to the underlying atmosphere. We, therefore, combine observations at visible wavelengths with radio observations to study the full vertical extent of selected storm features on Jupiter. We use radio observations to trace the depths of features by matching the observed brightness temperatures to a model atmosphere that combines kinetic temperature and ammonia abundance variations, while the visible observations are compared to atmospheric models that parameterize the cloud pressures and haze properties. The Hubble Space Telescope observations show that upwelling branches of storms extend into the stratosphere, requiring large vertical velocities to overshoot the tropopause. From the radio observations we find further evidence that large scale storms can disturb the atmospheric composition below the water condensation pressure (~7bar). The difference in pressure between the storm source region and the pressure at which Jupiter’s atmosphere approaches a global well-mixed atmosphere (~30bar) supports the existence of a vertical stack circulation on Jupiter.

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