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ASTA01H3 (13)
Chapter

Chapter Eleven Review: Jupiter

8 Pages
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Department
Astronomy
Course Code
ASTA01H3
Professor
Brian Wilson

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October 26th, 2010
ASTA01H
Intro to Astronomy and Astrology Part I
Chapter Eleven: Jupiter
Orbital and Physical Properties
The View from Earth
Third brightest object in the night sky
In contrast to the terrestrial planets, Jupiter has many moons that vary
greatly in size and other properties
oThe four largest are known as the Galilean Moons, discovered in 1610
On Jupiters surface, there are alternating light and dark bands that cross the
planet parallel to its equator
oThese atmospheric features are unlike anything found on the inner
planets
Mass and Radius
Mass is    or 318 Earth masses
oTwice the mass of all the other planets combined
As massive as Jupiter is it is still only 1/1000 the mass of the Sun
Its radius is 71,500 km or 11.2 Earth radii
Rotation Rate
Originally hard to determine since its surface features are clouds in the
upper atmosphere, that are not attached to a solid surface and therefore
move independently of one another
Jupiter thus exhibits differential rotation the rotation rate is not constant from
one location to another
oDifferential rotation is, therefore, obviously not possible in solid objects
www.notesolution.com
Charged particles that come into contact with Jupiters magnetic field rotate
at 9 hours and 55 minutes
oWe assume that this measurement matches the rotation of the planets
interior, where the magnetic field arises
This is a fast rotation period for such a large object
oThis rapid spin has altered Jupiters shape
This spin creates a bulge at the planets equatorial plane
This equatorial bulge tells us something important about the planets deep
interior:
oIf Jupiters core was composed of hydrogen and helium alone it would
be more flattened, therefore we must assume that it has a dense,
compact core, probably of rocky composition
The Atmosphere of Jupiter
Two dominant surface features:
oEver-changing atmospheric bands
oAn oval atmospheric blob called the Great Red Spot
Atmospheric Composition
Molecular hydrogen is the most abundant gas (86.1%)
Followed by helium (13.8%)
Small amounts of atmospheric methane, ammonia and water vapour
The abundance of Hydrogen and Helium is a direct consequence of Jupiters
strong gravity
oAs a result of gravity, not as much of these light-weight gases were
able to escape into space as is the case on the smaller terrestrial
planets
Atmospheric Bands
Described as a series of bright zones and dark belts crossing the planet
www.notesolution.com
oThese variations appear to be the result of convection motion deeper in
Jupiters atmosphere
The light-coloured zones lie above the upward-moving convection currents,
the dark belts are regions representing the other parts of the convection
cycle, during which material is generally sinking downward
oTherefore, the zones are high pressure regions; the belts, conversely,
are low pressure regions
The belts and zones are Jupiters equivalents of familiar high and low pressure
systems that cause our weather on Earth
oThe major difference being that Jupiters rapid rotation has caused
these systems to wrap all the way around the planet instead of forming
localized circulating storms
Underlying the bands, is an apparently very stable pattern of eastward and
westward wind flow, known as Jupiters zonal flow
The difference in altitude between the belts and zones (and therefore the
difference in temperature) are the reasons for the different colours of these
Jovian features
Atmospheric Structure and Colour
The colours of the clouds are the result of complex chemical processes
occurring in the planets turbulent upper atmosphere
oWhen we observe Jupiters different colours, we are actually looking
down to many different depths in the planets atmosphere
Since the planet lacks a solid surface to use as a reference level for
measuring altitude, the tops of the troposphere is conventionally taken to lie
at 0 km
Weather is the result of convection in the troposphere weather layer in a
planets atmosphere as is the case on all planets
Just above the troposphere lies a thin, faint layer of haze created by
photochemical reactions (reactions involving sunlight similar to those that
cause smog on Earth)
www.notesolution.com

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Description
th October 26 , 2010 ASTA01H Intro to Astronomy and Astrology Part I Chapter Eleven: Jupiter Orbital and Physical Properties The View from Earth Third brightest object in the night sky In contrast to the terrestrial planets, Jupiter has many moons that vary greatly in size and other properties o The four largest are known as th Gealilean Moons, discovered in 1610 On Jupiters surface, there are alternating light and dark bands that cross the planet parallel to its equator o These atmospheric features are unlike anything found on the inner planets Mass and Radius Mass is or 318 Earth masses o Twice the mass of all the other planets combined As massive as Jupiter is it is still only 11000 the mass of the Sun Its radius is 71,500 km or 11.2 Earth radii Rotation Rate Originally hard to determine since its surface features are clouds in the upper atmosphere, that are not attached to a solid surface and therefore move independently of one another Jupiter thus exhibits differential rotation the rotation rate is not constant from one location to another o Differential rotation is, therefore, obviously not possible in solid objects www.notesolution.com
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