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Title: The Great Cold Spot in Jupiter's upper atmosphere
Authors: Stallard, Tom S.
Melin, Henrik
Miller, Steve
Moore, Luke
O'Donoghue, James
Connerney, John E. P.
Satoh, Takehiko
West, Robert A.
Thayer, Jeffrey P.
Hsu, Vicki W.
Johnson, Rosie E.
First Published: 10-Apr-2017
Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU), Wiley
Citation: Geophysical Research Letters, 2017, 44
Abstract: Past observations and modelling of Jupiter’s thermosphere have, due to their limited resolution, suggested that heat generated by the aurora near the poles results in a smooth thermal gradient away from these aurora, indicating a quiescent and diffuse flow of energy within the sub-auroral thermosphere. Here, we discuss VLT-CRIRES observations that reveal a small-scale localised cooling of ~200 K within the non-auroral thermosphere. Using IRTF-NSFCam images, this feature is revealed to be quasi-stable over at least a 15-year period, fixed in magnetic latitude and longitude. The size and shape of this “Great Cold Spot” vary significantly with time, strongly suggesting that it is produced by an aurorally-generated weather system: the first direct evidence of a long-term thermospheric vortex in the solar system. We discuss the implications of this spot, comparing it with short-term temperature and density variations at Earth.
DOI Link: 10.1002/2016GL071956
ISSN: 0094-8276
eISSN: 1944-8007
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2017, American Geophysical Union (AGU), Wiley. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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