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R. Morales, A. Sanchez-Lavega (UPV), J. Lecacheux (Obs. Meudon), F. Colas (I. Mecanique), I. Miyazaki (Japan)
We have used the HST-WFPC2 archived images of Jupiter in the period 1994-1998 to study the zonal and meridional distributions, long-term motions, lifetimes, interactions and other properties of the vortices larger than 2 degrees. The latitude range covered spans from +75 to -75 degrees. High-resolution images obtained with the 890nm, 410nm and 953nm wavelength filters allowed us to make a morphological classification based on their appearance in each filter. The vortices are anticyclones, and their long-term motions have been completed with ground-based images and are compared to the mean Jovian zonal wind profile. Significant differences are found between the vortex velocities and the mean zonal winds. Some vortices exhibited important drift changes in short period times. We analyze a possible correlation between their size and zonal wind velocity. On the other hand, the "barges" lie in the cyclone domains of the wind-profile and have been identified in several latitudes. Their latitudinal size is similar in all of them (typically 1.6 degrees) but their longitudinal size ranges from ~1 to ~32 degrees. We discuss the temporal evolution of some of these cyclonic regions.
The Spanish team was supported by Gobierno Vasco PI 034/97. The French team was supported by the "Programme National de Planetologie." RM acknowledges a fellowship from Universidad Pais Vasco.
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