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Jupiter's inhomogeneous envelope

Abstract : Context. While Jupiter's massive gas envelope consists mainly of hydrogen and helium, the key to understanding Jupiter's formation and evolution lies in the distribution of the remaining (heavy) elements. Before the Juno mission, the lack of high-precision gravity harmonics precluded the use of statistical analyses in a robust determination of the heavy-element distribution in Jupiter's envelope.
Aims: In this paper, we assemble the most comprehensive and diverse collection of Jupiter interior models to date and use it to study the distribution of heavy elements in the planet's envelope.
Methods: We apply a Bayesian statistical approach to our interior model calculations, reproducing the Juno gravitational and atmospheric measurements and constraints from the deep zonal flows.
Results: Our results show that the gravity constraints lead to a deep entropy of Jupiter corresponding to a 1 bar temperature that is 515 K higher than traditionally assumed. We also find that uncertainties in the equation of state are crucial when determining the amount of heavy elements in Jupiter's interior. Our models put an upper limit to the inner compact core of Jupiter of 7 MEarth, independently of the structure model (with or without a dilute core) and the equation of state considered. Furthermore, we robustly demonstrate that Jupiter's envelope is inhomogeneous, with a heavy-element enrichment in the interior relative to the outer envelope. This implies that heavy-element enrichment continued through the gas accretion phase, with important implications for the formation of giant planets in our Solar System and beyond.
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Contributor : Nathalie POTHIER Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, November 24, 2022 - 1:14:46 PM
Last modification on : Friday, November 25, 2022 - 3:37:30 AM


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Y. Miguel, M. Bazot, T. Guillot, S. Howard, E. Galanti, et al.. Jupiter's inhomogeneous envelope. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, 2022, 662, ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/202243207⟩. ⟨insu-03869589⟩



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