Program: GS-2010B-Q-8

Title:Spectroscopy of Jupiter's Equatorial Dynamics and Giant Vortex Interactions
PI:Leigh Fletcher
Co-I(s): Glenn Orton, Patrick Irwin, Agustin Sanchez-Lavega, Nicholas Teanby


We propose to study Jupiter's equatorial upwelling, mid-latitude storms and changes in the broad axisymmetric belts using Gemini-N/MICHELLE low-resolution spectroscopy. Maps of tropospheric temperature and composition (ammonia, phosphine and aerosols from Q and N-band spectra) serve as tracers for vigourous convective dynamics associated with Jupiter's belts and zones, giant anticyclones, plumes and upheavals. The proposed spectral maps, the first since the Cassini encounter in 2000 and with a higher spatial resolution, will allow us to test hypotheses relating changes in the visible cloud deck with changes in the environmental conditions of the Jovian troposphere. In particular, we propose to (a) search for changes in upwelling rates and locations associated with the bright equatorial zone since the Cassini epoch, (b) study modifications to the strength and depths of Jupiter's giant anticyclones during a close encounter in September 2010 to understand the continuing evolution of the Great Red Spot and Oval BA, and (c) study differences in atmospheric composition associated with a fade and revival sequence of Jupiter's temperate belts as part of a quasi-periodic global upheaval.

Publications using this program's data