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Question: Air Temp Difference & Climate on Planets

I know there's some smart folks on this BBS, so perhaps you can help. This has to do with theories on interplanetary weather.

So far, here's what I know:

Jupiter- maximum winds 400 mph, thunderstorms with lightning 1,000 times stronger than Earth's.

Saturn-maximum winds 1000 mph, thunderstorms with lightning 1 million times stronger than Earth's.

Uranus-maximum winds 400 mph, thunderstorms with unknown lightning strength.

Neptune-maximum winds 1250 mph (1,500 mph in a storm called the Great Dark Spot) , thunderstorms with unknown lightning strength.

With the exception of Uranus, it seems that the further out we go, the more severe the weather on the gas giants. Jupiter and Saturn are balls of liquid hydrogen. Uranus & Neptune may be balls of superheated water, mixed with other elements, possibly liquid hydrogen.

Anyway, the further out you go, the colder the exterior atmosphere of each planet gets. My guess is that if the interior of a given planet is very hot, the temperature difference between the upper and lower atmosphere creates violent weather. Uranus's weather seems bland, by comparison to Neptune, Jupiter, and Saturn-and perhaps that's because the temperature difference isn't that extreme.

Just look at how tornadoes form. Tornadic thunderstorms seem to be at their worst when the difference in air mass temperature and humidity is at their most extreme.

So-can the same logic be appplied to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus & Neptune? Perhaps there is a MUCH greater difference in upper & lower air temps on Saturn that at Jupiter-which is why its lightning and winds are FAR stronger?

Thoughts? Calls for my needing a straight-jacket??

8)
 
Maybe size/gravity and distance from surface to area of convection have something to do with it. Greater the gap the more volts one needs right? And perhaps any wind shear just adds to the gap/build up....."ooomph". Though I would first question any sampling means that got someone those 'facts'.

I know I know...you said smart people on this BBS. Maybe they will reply.
 
Here's what (very) little I know...
Atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn are primarily hydrogen with some helium and their surfaces being possibly solid hydrogen. The surface temperatures of both Jupiter and Saturn are approximately 130K (or -143 degrees C or -225 degrees F if I did the conversion right), which is warmer than they should be, and may be an indication of warming from gravitational compression.
Atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune are primarily methane. The surface temperatures on Uranus may be near 60K(or -351 degrees F) and Neptune may be near 37K (or -393 degrees F).
So in other words, there's a whole other kind of atmospheric dynamics happening to cause those storms...it's not anything like happens around this planet, anyway. This would be something so cool to study...
Angie
 
Originally posted by Angie Norris
Here's what (very) little I know...
Atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn are primarily hydrogen with some helium and their surfaces being possibly solid hydrogen. The surface temperatures of both Jupiter and Saturn are approximately 130K (or -143 degrees C or -225 degrees F if I did the conversion right), which is warmer than they should be, and may be an indication of warming from gravitational compression.
Atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune are primarily methane. The surface temperatures on Uranus may be near 60K(or -351 degrees F) and Neptune may be near 37K (or -393 degrees F).
So in other words, there's a whole other kind of atmospheric dynamics happening to cause those storms...it's not anything like happens around this planet, anyway. This would be something so cool to study...
Angie

Actually, Jupiter and Saturn's "surfaces"-if there is such a feature-would be a scalding ocean of liquid hydrogen-and that's thousands of miles below the cloud tops. The temperature on the surface of that ocean would be thousands of degrees, and the air pressure would be tens of thousands of bars.

The temperatures you're talking about are at the TOP of their atmospheres. The severe weather would happen between these two extremes.

:)
 
Is there really enough difference between the temperatures of the exterior atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn to more than double the wind speed between the two planets? At that distance the sun looks like a very bright star, and Saturn releases more energy than it absorbs.

I know that the density of Saturn is very low. In fact, Saturn would float if you could put it in a tub of water big enough. I'd have to dig up some number somewhere, but could it be that the difference in densities between Saturn and Jupiter also contribute to the difference in wind speed? The less dense atmosphere of Saturn requires less energy to get it moving.

Just a few thoughts...
 
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