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Journal Article

Dynamo action of the zonal winds in Jupiter


Wicht,  Johannes
Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;


Dietrich,  Wieland
Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Wicht, J., Gastine, T., Duarte, L. D. V., & Dietrich, W. (2019). Dynamo action of the zonal winds in Jupiter. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 629: A125. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201935682.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-6821-0
The new data delivered by NASA’s Juno spacecraft significantly increase our understanding of the internal dynamics of Jupiter. The gravity data constrain the depth of the zonal flows observed at cloud level and suggest that they slow down considerably at a depth of about 0.96 rJ, where rJ is the mean radius at the one bar level. The magnetometer onboard Juno reveals the internal magnetic field of the planet. We combine the new zonal flow and magnetic field models with an updated electrical conductivity profile to assess the zonal-wind-induced dynamo action, concentrating on the outer part of the molecular hydrogen region of Jupiter where the conductivity increases very rapidly with depth. Dynamo action remains quasi-stationary and can therefore reasonably be estimated where the magnetic Reynolds number remains smaller than one, which is roughly the region above 0.96 rJ. We calculate that the locally induced radial magnetic field reaches rms values of about 10−6 T in this region and may just be detectable by the Juno mission. Very localized dynamo action and a distinct pattern that reflects the zonal wind system increases the chance to disentangle this locally induced field from the background field. The estimates of the locally induced currents also allow calculation of the zonal-flow-related Ohmic heating and associated entropy production. The respective quantities remain below new revised predictions for the total dissipative heating and total entropy production in Jupiter for any of the explored model combinations. Thus, neither Ohmic heating nor entropy production offer additional constraints on the depth of the zonal winds.