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Dynamics of the Outer Planets

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The topic this summer was The Dynamics of the Outer Planets. Andrew Ingersoll gave an excellent review of the current understanding of the structure of the atmospheres of Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn, and Uranus. He presented the flow structures inferred from the information gathered by the Voyager probes and other observations. The models of the circulations of the interior and of the weather layer - the jets and vortices that we see in the images - were discussed. Jun-Ichi Yano gave further discussions on vortex dynamics in the lab, analytical, and numerical models as applied to the outer planets. Finally, Andy returned with a discussion of thin atmospheres some so thin that they disappear at night and new approaches to the dynamics of the interiors. These lectures provided a thorough background in both the data and the theory. As usual, we had talks or what are sometimes called interactive seminars from many visitors during the summer, some directly related to the main topic and others covering other new research in geophysical fluid dynamics. From these, the fellows and staff found new areas for collaborative research and new ideas which they may explore after the summer. Finally, the summer was completed with talks from the fellows on their individual research during the summer. These reports reflect the thought and energy that went into learning new topics and formulating new problems. We look forward to seeing fuller versions of these in journal articles. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research. The assistance of Jake Peirson and Barbara Ewing-DeRemer, made the summer, once again, pleasant and easy for all. Geophysical fluid dynamics, Planetary circulations, Vortex dynamics.

Subject Categories:

  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics

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