Counter-rotation in the Uranian atmosphere

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Counter-rotation in the Uranian atmosphere

Unread postby Robertus Maximus » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:37 pm

Counter-rotation in the Uranian atmosphere

Image processing of Voyager 2 images from January 1986 has revealed a curious feature of the atmosphere of Uranus. (https://scitechdaily.com/new-clues-hidden-interior-uranus-revealed/)

The question is does the observed asymmetric rotation arise due to hidden features in the interior of Uranus or does the feature arise from processes external to the planet i.e. the highly inclined magnetosphere?

Elsewhere on this forum and following Juergens, I have suggested that the planets intercept electrons participating in the solar discharge; in doing so a planet ‘reaches out’ into a more electron rich region of the heliosphere i.e. the anti-sunward direction, forming a magnetotail in the process.

In the case of the Voyager 2 observations it would be interesting if features of the atmospheric rotation corresponded with measurements of the rotating Uranian magnetic field. If so we could speculate that the curious atmospheric rotation is driven not by solar radiation or ‘hidden features’ but by Birkeland currents from the Uranian magnetotail.

It may well be that such asymmetric currents are responsible for the ‘chevron’ surface features of the Uranian moon Miranda (http://www.space.com/images/i/000/042/604/original/voyager-uranus-moon-miranda.jpg); under different conditions perhaps they would be termed ‘tiger stripes’?
Robertus Maximus
 
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