Revealing the Inner-Workings of Saturn's Rings
and Jupiter's Great Red Spot with Ionospheric Measurements

James O'Donoghue
NASA Fellow
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Wed, November 28, 2018 - 4:00 PM
Karl Herzfeld Auditorium of Hannan Hall - Rm 108

jodpicforcuseminar_photo_sm.pngThe upper-atmospheres of the Giant Planets are several hundred kilometers above the visible cloud decks of Jupiter and Saturn. This towering 1,000 kilometer-thick layer is home to a charged (quasi-neutral) ionospere. The location of the ionosphere means it acts as an interface region between the turbulent atmospheres below and the (surprisingly) active near-space environments above, feeling the effects of both. In this talk, I will show evidence from ground-based telescope observations that the ionosphere is heated by (likely!) sound waves originating from the Great Red Spot. In addition, new discoveries are revealing that the rings of Saturn are newer and more mysterious than we ever imagined, and that they might disappear forever sooner than we thought.

Refreshments served at 3:45 PM

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