37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 30 Outer Planets
Poster, Tuesday, September 6, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Lecture Room 5

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[30.21] Merging circulations on Jupiter: observed differences between cyclonic and anticyclonic mergers

J.H. Rogers, H-J. Mettig, A. Cidadao, D. Peach (British Astronomical Association)

Several mergers of circulations in Jupiter's atmosphere have been followed in recent years by visible-light images from amateur observers. A merger of anticyclonic white ovals in the South South Temperate domain (2002 March) was compared with the previously reported merger of ovals BE and FA in the South Temperate domain (2000 March). In each case, the two similar-sized ovals converged rapidly; they orbited around each other anticyclonically during the merger; the merged oval initially had the same rapid drift as the following parent; and, unexpectedly, a more slowly moving cyclonic oval appeared from the point of merger. Evidence suggests that a merger of ovals in the N.N. Temperate domain (2002 February) had similar dynamics. In contrast, mergers of cyclonic 'barges' in the North Equatorial Belt (2001 November, 2005 May) behaved differently. The two parent barges showed only slight acceleration towards each other as they converged; the merger occurred smoothly with no sign of mutual circulation; and the resulting barge, after a period of instability, was longer than either parent barge. A point of similarity was that the merged barge in each case maintained the same rapid drift as the following parent.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
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