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Thread: Are there liquid waves on Jupiter and other gas giants?

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    Are there liquid waves on Jupiter and other gas giants?

    Are there liquid surfaces on gas giants, if it is known?

    If so, are there waves on these seas of liquid?

    If there are waves, what kinds of sizes, and heights do they achieve?

    I was enjoying the possibility of giant waves on Jupiter, that travel around the planet, powered by weather systems, uninterrupted by and landmasses....but though I'd ask.
    ................................

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    Quote Originally Posted by WaxRubiks View Post
    Are there liquid surfaces on gas giants, if it is known?

    If so, are there waves on these seas of liquid?

    If there are waves, what kinds of sizes, and heights do they achieve?

    I was enjoying the possibility of giant waves on Jupiter, that travel around the planet, powered by weather systems, uninterrupted by and landmasses....but though I'd ask.
    I think the answer is probably "sort of," though I'm not really confident. What is clear is that Jupiter is different from the earth in that you do not have a gaseous atmosphere and then suddenly a liquid surface. Because of the enormous pressure, the transition from gas to liquid is gradual and there is no surface like we have. So I guess that there are mixtures of parts with different pressure, movement between different zones, and I guess these would be waves but they are quite different from what we think of us as waves. Imagine turbulence in the air.
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    Hot Liquid HydrogenConvection Currents !?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I think the answer is probably "sort of," though I'm not really confident. What is clear is that Jupiter is different from the earth in that you do not have a gaseous atmosphere and then suddenly a liquid surface. Because of the enormous pressure, the transition from gas to liquid is gradual and there is no surface like we have. So I guess that there are mixtures of parts with different pressure, movement between different zones, and I guess these would be waves but they are quite different from what we think of us as waves. Imagine turbulence in the air.
    Ref is here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupite...rnal_structure

    Much is unknown. Read the entire Wiki article.

    Jen's guesses are probably good.

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    I believe Jupiter is mostly Hydrogen with some Helium, like the sun, plus traces, so it is a ball of gas held together by its gravity. We have a very different gas atmosphere here but you can see "waves" which are 3D phenomena in gases. We can see clouds moving and changing to make visible the swirling of the air and Jupiter has the same effects called appropriately storms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    Ref is here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupite...rnal_structure

    Much is unknown. Read the entire Wiki article.

    Jen's guesses are probably good.
    From the linked article:
    Above the layer of metallic hydrogen lies a transparent interior atmosphere of hydrogen. At this depth, the pressure and temperature are above hydrogen's critical pressure of 1.2858 MPa and critical temperature of only 32.938 K.[52] In this state, there are no distinct liquid and gas phases—hydrogen is said to be in a supercritical fluid state. It is convenient to treat hydrogen as gas in the upper layer extending downward from the cloud layer to a depth of about 1,000 km,[43] and as liquid in deeper layers. Physically, there is no clear boundary—the gas smoothly becomes hotter and denser as one descends.[53][54]
    As John and Jens said, above the liquid hydrogen layer, there are very likely no sharp transitions between liquid and gas, and it is all probably best described as a fluid. I can imagine there are some compositional variations in the amounts of minor gases, and I can imagine those could lead to some changes of state, but I don't think we understate these materials that well under such extreme conditions.

    I could imagine there are oscillations in the liquid hydrogen layer, but I'm not sure I'd call them waves. They would be nothing like ocean waves on Earth, I would think.

    The evidence of the giant storms and convection cells in the upper atmosphere is certainly there, but at that high in the atmosphere this would best be described as a gas, not a liquid. I don't think anyone knows how far down these storms extend in the atmosphere.
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    http://adsbit.harvard.edu//full/1983...00502.000.html

    I took Astronomy 101 from Dr. Demarcus, who passed about 10 years after my freshman college classes with him. He was the guy who worked out the hydrogen interior of Jupiter.

    If there is a liquid layer of hydrogen on Jupiter, I would bet asteroid and comet impacts create remarkable waves there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    If there is a liquid layer of hydrogen on Jupiter, I would bet asteroid and comet impacts create remarkable waves there.
    I might take that bet. I wonder how much energy transfer there would be through the atmosphere, down to the liquid hydrogen layer. It seems possible to me that the atmosphere would completely absorb the impact.
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    The atmosphere might destroy the incoming object, but would the shockwave from the impact travel down through the atmosphere to the liquid level?
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

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    Not just impacts, jupiter is spinning and receiving heat and has moons in orbit, so it is perturbed all the time. The perturbations are flows which become vortices and there can never be a steady state (topology of hairy sphere) so in that sense there are waves. The viscosity turns waves into heat so finally there is a heat balance. It gets hotter with depth as well as pressure rising so the question about a liquid layer deep inside seems complex because as a gas hydrogen does not liquify by pressure alone. And if the inside is hotter than the outside, which is well above absolute zero, maybe there are extreme conditions which allow liquids such as water or methane but it is hard for me to see how a phase change could happen.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    The atmosphere might destroy the incoming object, but would the shockwave from the impact travel down through the atmosphere to the liquid level?
    *cough* Shoemaker Levy 9?

    Waves
    As predicted beforehand, the collisions generated enormous waves that swept across Jupiter at speeds of 450 m/s (1,476 ft/s) and were observed for over two hours after the largest impacts. The waves were thought to be travelling within a stable layer acting as a waveguide, and some scientists thought the stable layer must lie within the hypothesised tropospheric water cloud. However, other evidence seemed to indicate that the cometary fragments had not reached the water layer, and the waves were instead propagating within the stratosphere.[27]
    And some more on what the impacts stirred up:

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1995Sci...267.1307N

    Ultraviolet spectra obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope identified at least 10 molecules and atoms in the perturbed stratosphere near the G impact site, most never before observed in Jupiter. The large mass of sulfur-containing material, more than 1014 grams in S_2 alone, indicates that many of the sulfur-containing molecules S_2, CS_2, CS, H_2S, and S^+ may be derived from a sulfur-bearing parent molecule native to Jupiter. If so, the fragment must have penetrated at least as deep as the predicted NH_4SH cloud at a pressure of approximately 1 to 2 bars. Stratospheric NH_3 was also observed, which is consistent with fragment penetration below the cloud tops. Approximately 10^7 grams of neutral and ionized metals were observed in emission, including Mg II, Mg I, Si I, Fe I, and Fe II. Oxygen-containing molecules were conspicuous by their absence; upper limits for SO_2, SO, CO, SiO, and H_2O are derived.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    http://adsbit.harvard.edu//full/1983...00502.000.html

    I took Astronomy 101 from Dr. Demarcus, who passed about 10 years after my freshman college classes with him. He was the guy who worked out the hydrogen interior of Jupiter.

    If there is a liquid layer of hydrogen on Jupiter, I would bet asteroid and comet impacts create remarkable waves there.
    Well the comet/asteroid Shoemaker left visible marks in the cloud top. I don't know if any of the pieces made it to the "surface", but I doubt it.

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