September 17, 2016

JunoCam polar jovian images – suggestive of a surface in part? Also a possible underlying saturnian surface?

Filed under: Letters from Ionia — Tags: , , , , , , — zankaon @ 12:34 pm

Might NASA JunoCam images of Jupiter’s polar region, from 23,000 miles, suggest a surface; or just an underlying surface? Rather than just atmospherics, might one be seeing in part a liquid or rock/ice surface (percentage ice and/or rock)? Or perhaps more ice crystalization in atmosphere? Would synthetic aperture radar (SAR) distinguish a predominantly rock surface? Do such polar images look more like icy Jovian moon surfaces, or like Pluto; or in part more like a rocky/ice surface; or just lower velocity winds’ effect?

Would rapid rotation (~10 hrs) of Jupiter affect polar region atmospheric circulation etc., giving rise to a different presentation?

However wouldn’t the lower density of Jupiter, compared to density of terrestrials, seem consistent with a gaseous predominance, and not even just a predominant ice/liquid interior?

Might one even entertain the possibility of just a gaseous jovian moon? Is the Great Red Spot (GRT) more than just a cyclonic-like disturbance? Is it’s density extremely different than ambient clouds; hence a much greater mass? Sufficient mass to designate it a gaseous moon, in fixed co-rotation with the rest of visible ambient clouds? More specifically, consider it’s depth equal to it’s diameter, giving volume. Then for ascertained density, obtain mass. Then compare such mass to a Titan’s estimated all ice density mass, to see if GRT has comparable mass.

Might past ‘comet’, or jovian moon icebergs, collision impact pattern suggest hitting a surface, rather than atmospheric/liquid explosions?

Just as there are external rings/bands, might there also possibly be a somewhat interior orbiting band(s), or spherical shell, of rock/ice of sufficient density and thickness to constitute a surface, at a certain depth beneath clouds? Hence accounting for ‘comet’ impact pattern?

Perhaps consider a primordial scenario, wherein one has extreme higher angular momentum forming icy clouds, with impurities forming denser conglomerates aggregating (i.e. ice condensation from millimeter grains to decimeter pebbles in 1000 years; the latter constituting protoplanetary disks?) (1), giving sediment-like icy layering accumulating gradually over 4.6 Byrs; resulting in a surface of certain density and structural thickness, in orbit between cloud layers? Perhaps aeolian effect of high velocity winds contributing to surface formation, as on earth. Might such surface have initially formed much deeper, and then vis a vis exchange of momentum have migrated to outward region? Yet over all planet density unaffected; hence maintaining a non-terrestial profile?

Might one even have other variations for different hot (and for ours) Jupiter’s, such as interior solid moon formation, co-rotating with planet, but in the clouds?

Would a Cassini like Saturnian orbit sweeping up obliquely from lower latitude to poles be suitable for detecting via synthetic aperture radar any interior bands, interior moon, or even planetary wide thick spherical shell? Perhaps redirect Cassini to Jupiter – a 1-2 year voyage?

Might Saturnian circumpolar hexagonal pattern of supposed jet(s) flow be guided (or about?) by an underlying surface , such as ice (all of interior area of hexagon?) at a certain depth below cloud top? Analogy to circumpolar Antarctica current (fluid) and it’s enclosed surface? Or perhaps an analogy to polygon subsurface formation in permafrost? Perhaps utilize synthetic aperture radar (SAR) of Cassini for such possible surface detection? Or for an ice surface (i.e. object), perhaps infrared spectroscopy would be more suitable.

Since Jupiter/earth radius is ~11/1, then for Jupiter circumference of ~66 times greater, but with rotation period of ~ 10 hrs, what would the top layer cloud velocity be; and would it be in step with observed clouds’ high velocities? Lesser velocity for near poles?

Might strong magnetic fields of Mercury, Earth, and Jupiter all suggest similarities to their interiors? That is, perhaps a surface with a deeper liquid (iron?) inner core, rheologically flowing; in addition to a solid core? Contrast to comparatively lesser magnetic field of Sun, perhaps due to a circulating plasma, rather than liquid? However see above density argument caveat.

Ice condensation as a planet formation mechanism (1)

Saturnian composition  arXiv:1609.06324v1 [astro-ph.EP] 20 Sep 2016.

Juno instrumentation

Saturn’s polar atmosphere

synthetic aperture radar (SAR)


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