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A δ-plane simulation of anticyclones perturbing circumpolar flows to form a transient north polar hexagon


Cosgrove, JM and Forbes, LK, A δ-plane simulation of anticyclones perturbing circumpolar flows to form a transient north polar hexagon, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 469, (4) pp. 4133-4147. ISSN 0035-8711 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

This article has been accepted for publication in Royal Astronomical Society. Monthly Notices. Copyright 2017 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1093/mnras/stx1170


Saturn's North Polar Hexagon was discovered by Godfrey who pieced together map projections of images captured by the Voyager mission to unveil a hexagonal structure over the north pole of Saturn. This article attempts to answer whether or not a hexagonal structure can be formed through anticyclones impinging on the dominant eastward circumpolar flow and is in part based upon the proposed theory by Allison etal. that the Hexagon may be the result of at least one impinging anticyclone perturbing a circumpolar jet centrally located around the 76N latitude. A high-latitude δ-plane approximation is used to simulate the interaction between an initially circular circumpolar jet and at least one perturbing anticyclone. Our simulations with one perturbing anticyclone failed to form a hexagonal structure; yet by including an additional anticyclone it was found that depending on the strength, location and radius of the perturbing anticyclones a hexagonal feature could develop. However, the longevity and drift rate of the actual Hexagon must be attributed to other factors not considered in this paper.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:hydrodynamics, planets, satellites, atmospheres
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:Planetary science (excl. solar system and planetary geology)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the mathematical sciences
UTAS Author:Cosgrove, JM (Dr Jason Cosgrove)
UTAS Author:Forbes, LK (Professor Larry Forbes)
ID Code:120645
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Mathematics and Physics
Deposited On:2017-08-29
Last Modified:2018-04-27
Downloads:91 View Download Statistics

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