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Wednesday 22 Apr 2015Seminar: Explaining Jupiter's internal dynamics

Dr Thomas Gastine - Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS)

Physics, 4th floor 14:00-15:00

Spacecraft data reveal a very Earth-like Jovian magnetic field. This is surprising since numerical simulations have shown that the vastly different interiors of terrestrial and gas planets can strongly affect the internal dynamo process. Here we present the first numerical dynamo that manages to match the structure and strength of the observed magnetic field by embracing the newest models for Jupiterís interior. Simulated dynamo action primarily occurs in the deep high electrical conductivity region, while zonal flows are dynamically constrained to a strong equatorial jet in the outer envelope of low conductivity. Our model reproduces the structure and strength of the observed global magnetic field and predicts that secondary dynamo action associated to the equatorial jet produces banded magnetic features likely observable by the Juno mission.

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