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Jupiter's Occultation Radii: Implications for its Internal Dynamics

By Ravit Helled


The physical shape of a giant planet can reveal important information about its centrifugal potential, and therefore, its rotation. In this paper I investigate the response of Jupiter's shape to differential rotation on cylinders of various cylindrical radii using a simple equipotential theory. I find that both solid-body rotation (with System III rotation rate) and differential rotation on cylinders up to a latitude between 20 and 30 degrees are consistent with Jupiter's measured shape. Occultation measurements of Jupiter's shape could provide an independent method to constrain the depth of its zonal winds.Comment: accepted for publication in GR

Topics: Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1029/2011GL047107
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