Atmospheric Dynamics of the Giant Planets (Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, Red Oval, Zonal Winds, Climate)

Long-lived vortices (“spots”) and zonal flows (“stripes”) have been fascinating both professional and amateur astronomers since they were observed by Robert Hooke in 1666. The coloring, velocities and size of the vortices and zones have changed over the years, but they are remarkably persistent. Our research is focused on the formation and maintenance of these features using high resolution numerical simulation. We not only compare our results to observations but also to relevant laboratory experiments. We examine the temporal variations of Jupiter’s zonal (east-west jet streams) on the scales of months, years and decades, and we continue to examine whether a global temperature change is responsible for turning the large Oval BA vortex from white to partially red, for the color changes of other vortices and for the current upheavals of the atmosphere.

Published Papers and Abstracts

2015

“High S/N Keck and Gemini AO imaging of Uranus during 2012–2014: New cloud patterns, increasing activity, and improved wind measurements”, LA Sromovsky, I de Pater, PM Fry, HB Hammel, P Marcus, June 2015, Icarus, vol. 258 pp. 192–223, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.05.029. — PDF

“Dramatic Change in Jupiter’s Great Red Spot”, AA Simon, MH Wong, JH Rogers, GS Orton, I de Pater, X Asay-Davis, RW Carlson, PS Marcus, March 2015, Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, vol. 46 pp. 1010. — PDF

2014

“Dramatic Change In Jupiter’s Great Red Spot From Spacecraft Observations”, Amy A Simon, Michael H Wong, John H Rogers, Glenn S Orton, Imke De Pater, Xylar Asay-Davis, Robert W Carlson, Philip S Marcus, Decemeber 2014, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 797:L31, doi:10.1088/2041-8205/797/2/L31. — PDF

“Applying Advection-Corrected Correlation Image Velocimetry techniques to Saturn’s winds” Aaron White, JA Barranco, P Marcus, O Solari, KM Sayanagi, January 2014, American Astronomical Society Meeting, vol. 223.

“On the Surprising Longevity of Jupiter’s Centuries-Old Great Red Spot”, Philip Marcus, Pedram Hassanzadeh,  APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, November 2014. — PDF

“The Fluid Dynamics of Saturn’s “String of Pearls”, Christopher Gebhart, Philip Marcus, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, November 2014. — PDF

2013

“Jupiter’s Red Oval BA: Dynamics, Color, and Relationship to Jovian Climate Change”, Philip S. Marcus, Xylar Asay-Davis, Michael H. Wong, Imke de Pater, Journal of Heat Transfer, volume 135, pages 1-9, January 2013, doi: 10.1115/1.4007666. — PDF

“On the Unexpected Longevity of the Great Red Spot, Oceanic Eddies, and other Baroclinic Vortices”, Pedram Hassanzadeh, Philip Marcus, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, November 2013. — PDF

“Jupiter’s Red Oval BA: Dynamics, Color, and Relationship to Jovian Climate Change”, Philip S. Marcus, Xylar Asay-Davis, Michael H. Wong, Imke de Pater, Journal of Heat Transfer, volume 135, pages 1-9, January 2013, doi: 10.1115/1.4007666. — PDF

2012

“Neptune’s zonal winds from near-IR Keck adaptive optics imaging in August 2001”, Shuleen Chau Martin, Imke de Pater, Philip Marcus, Astrophysics and Space Science, vol. 337, pp 65-78, January 2012, doi: 10.1007/s1059-011-0847-y. — PDF

2011

“Oval BA (and the Great Red Spot) extend down to a supersolar water cloud layer in Jupiter’s atmosphere”, Michael H Wong, Philip S. Marcus, Xyler Asay-Davis, Imke de Pater, Christopher Y Go, Sushil Shetty, EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2011, pp. 186, October 2011. — PDF

“Vertical structure of Jupiter’s Oval BA before and after it reddened: What changed?”, Michael H. Wong, Imke de Pater, Xylar Asay-Davis, Philip S. Marcus, Christopher Y. Go, Icarus, June 2011, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2011.06.032. — PDF

“Jupiter’s zonal winds: are they bands of homogenized potential vorticity organized as a monotonic staircase?”, Philip S. Marcus, Sushil Shetty, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, vol. 369, issue 1937, pp. 771-795, February 2011, doi: 10.1098/rsta.2010.0299. — PDF

2010

“Changes in Jupiter’s zonal velocity between 1979 and 2008”, Xylar S. Asay-Davis, Philip S. Marcus, Michael H. Wong, Imke de Pater, Icarus, vol. 2, issue 2, pp. 1215-1232, November 2010, doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2010.11.018. — PDF

“Erratum to ‘Changes in Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (1979–2006) and Oval BA (2000–2006)’ ”, Sushil Shetty, Philip S Marcus, Icarus, vol. 217, pp. 432-432, January 2012, doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2011.10.017. — PDF

“Jupiter’s Zonal Winds: Are They Bands of Homogenized Potential Vorticity and Do They Form a Monotonic Staircase?”, Philip Marcus, Sushil Shetty, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, vol. 55, November 2010. —  PDF

“Jupiter 2010: A Busy Year”, Christopher Y. Go, A. Wesley, M. Wong, I. de Pater, A. Sanchez-Lavega, P. Marcus, R. Huesco, J. Rogers, A. Simon-Miller, G.S. Orton, P. Yanamandra-Fisher, L. Fletcher, European Planetary Science Congress Abstracts, vol. 1, pp. 955, September 2010. — PDF

“Changes in Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (1979–2006) and Oval BA (2000–2006)”, Sushil Shetty, Philip S. Marcus, Icarus, vol. 210, pp. 182-201, July 2010, doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2010.06.026. — PDF

“Persistent Rings in and around Jupiter’s Anticyclones – Observations and Theory”, Imke de Pater, Michael H. Wong, Philip Marcus, Statia Luszc-Cook, Maté Adamkovics, Al Conrad, Xylar Asay-Davis, Christopher C. Go, Icarus, vol. 210, pp. 742-762, August 2010, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2010.07.027. — PDF

2009

“HST and Keck AO Images of Vortices on Jupiter”, I de Pater, M Wong, S Luszcz-Cook, M Adamkovics, P Marcus, X Asay-Davis, A Conrad, C Go, AAS Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting, vol. 41, September 2009.

“Jupiter’s Shrinking Great Red Spot and Steady Oval BA: Velocity Measurements with the Advected Corrected Correlation Image Velocimetry Automated Cloud Tracking Method”, Xyler S. Asay-Davis, Philip S. Marcus, Mike H. Wong, Imke de Pater, Icarus, vol. 203, pp. 164-188, published May 2009, doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2009.05.001. — PDF

2008

“Dynamics and Interactions of Jovian Vortices During the Last Year”, Philip Marcus, Xylar Asay-Davis, Sushil Shetty, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, vol. 53, November 2008. — PDF

“Jupiter’s South Equatorial Belt Outbreak Spots and the SEB Fade and Revival Cycle”, Christopher Y. Go, I. de Pater, A. Sanchez-Lavega, P. Marcus, J. Rogers, A. Simon-Miller, G. S. Orton, M. H. Wong, K. H. Baines, H-J. Mettig, X. Asay-Davis, P. Yanamandra-Fisher, L. Fletcher, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, vol. 40, pp. 475, September 2008. — PDF

“New Observations and Simulations of Jupiter’s Great, Little and Oval Red Spots and Stagnation Points and Their Interactions”, Philip Marcus, X Asay-Davis, MH Wong, I de Pater, C Go, September 2008, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, vol. 40, pp. 494.

“Depth of a Strong Jovian Jet from a Planetary-Scale Disturbance Driven by Storms”, A. Sánchez-Lavega, G. S. Orton, R. Hueso, E. García-Melendo, S. Pérez-Hoyos, A. Simon-Miller, J. F. Rojas., J. M. Gómez, P. Yanamandra-Fisher, L. Fletcher, J. Joels, J. Kemerer, J. Hora, E. Karkoschka, I. de Pater, M. H. Wong, P. S. Marcus, N. Pinilla-Alonso, F. Carvalho, C. Go, D. Parker, M. Salway, M. Valimberti, A. Wesley & Z. Pujic, Nature, vol. 451, pp. 437-440, January 2008, doi: 10.1038/nature06533. — PDF

2007

“On the Interaction of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and Zonal Jet Streams”, Sushil Shetty, Xylar S. Asay-Davis, Philip S. Marcus, December 2007, The Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, vol. 64, pp. 4432-4444, published December 2007, doi: 10.1175/2007JAS2097.1. — PDF

“Jupiter’s New Red Spot-An Indication of Climate Change?”, Philip Marcus, Chung-Hsiang Jiang, Xylar Asay-Davis, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, vol. 52, November 2007. — PDF

“The 2007 Jupiter’s North Temperate Belt Disturbance: I. Overview and jet stream changes”, Agustin Sanchez-Lavega, G. S. Orton, R. Hueso, E. Garcia-Melendo, S. Perez-Hoyos, A. Simon-Miller, J. F. Rojas, J. M. Gomez, P. A. Yanamandra-Fisher, L. Fletcher, J. Joels, J. Kemerer, J. Hora, E. Karkoschka, I. de Pater, M. H. Wong, P. S. Marcus, N. Pinilla, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, vol. 38, pp. 407, October 2007.

“The Global Upheaval of Jupiter”, Christopher Y. Go, I. de Pater, J. Rogers, G. Orton, P. Marcus, M. H. Wong, P. A. Yanamandra-Fischer, J. Joels, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, vol. 38, pp. 445, October 2007. — PDF

“Jupiter’s New Red Oval – Its Relation to Global Changes”, Philip Marcus, X. Asay-Davis, M. H. Wong, C. Go, I. de Pater, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, vol. 38, pp. 408, October 2007.

“Jupiter’s Red Oval: a Sign of Global Climate Change?”, Imke de Pater, P. Marcus, X. Asay-Davis, M. Wong, C. Go, European Planetary Science Congress 2007, vol. 1, pp. 667, August 2007. — PDF

“Vortex Street Dynamics: the Selection Mechanism for the Areas and Locations of Jupiter’s Vortices”, Tom Humphreys, Philip S. Marcus, The Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, vol. 64, pp. 1318-1333, April 2007, doi: 10.1175/JAS3882.1. — PDF

“Erratum to ‘Vortex Street Dynamics: the Selection Mechanism for the Areas and Locations of Jupiter’s Vortices’ ”, Tom Humphreys, Philip S. Marcus, The Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, added May 2008, doi: 10.1175/2008JAS2775.1.  — PDF

“Jupiter’s New Red Oval”, Imke de Pater, Philip Marcus, Michael Wong, ed. Robert Brown, Hubble 2006 Science Year in Review, pp. 33-41, published in 2007 by the Space Science Telescope Institute, Baltimore. — PDF

2006

“Modeling and Data Assimilation of the Velocity of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and Red Oval”, Sushil Shetty, Xylar Asay-Davis, Philip S Marcus, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, vol. 51, November 2006. — PDF

“Velocities and Temperatures of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and the New Red Oval and Implications for Global Climate Change”, Philip Marcus, Sushil Shetty, Xylar Asay-Davis, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, vol. 51, November 2006. — PDF

“Modeling and Data Assimilation of the Velocity Fields of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, New Red Oval, and Zonal Jet Streams”, S Shetty, Philip S Marcus, X Asay-Davis, I de Pater, M Wong, S Lockwood, C Go, September 2006, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, vol. 38, pp. 495.

“Evolution Of The Oval BA During 2004-2005”, Christopher Y Go, I de Pater, M Wong, S Lockwood, P Marcus, X Asay-Davis, S Shetty, September 2006, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, vol 38, pp. 495.

2004

“Multiple Instrument Distributed Aperture Sensor (MIDAS) For Planetary Remote Sensing”, Joe Pitman, Alan Duncan, David Stubbs, Robert Sigler, Rick Kendrick, Eric Smith, James Mason, Gregory Delory, Jere H. Lipps, Michael Manga, James Graham, Imke de Pater, Sarah Reiboldt, Philip Marcus, Edward Bierhaus, James B. Dalton, James Fienup, Jeffrey Yu, Instruments, Science, and Methods for Geospace and Planetary Remote Sensing, vol. 5660, pp.168-180, December 2004, doi: 10.1117/12.578430. — PDF

“Turbulent Mixing of Tracers in Nearly 2D Flows with Strong Potential Vorticity Gradients”, Xylar Asay-Davis, Philip Marcus, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, November 2004. — Image

“Prediction of a global climate change on Jupiter”, Philip S. Marcus, Nature, vol. 428, pp. 828-831, published April 2004, doi: 10.1038/nature02470. — PDF

“Three-Dimensional Vortices in Strongly Stratified Planetary Atmospheres”, Sushil Shetty, Philip Marcus, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, November 2004. — Image

2003

“Predictions of a Global Climate Change and Cycle on Jupiter”, Philip S Marcus, AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, vol. 1, pp. 0462, December 2003. — PDF

“The dynamics of jovian white 0vals from formation to merger”, Ashraf Youssef, Philip S. Marcus, Icarus, vol. 162, pp. 74-93, March 2003, doi: 10.1016/S0019-1035(02)00060-X. — PDF

2002

“Preventing Jupiter’s Great Red Spot from Turning Itself Inside-Out”, Sushil Shetty, Xylar Asay-Davis, Philip Marcus, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, November 2002. — Image

“Using Vortex Dynamics to Predict an Impending Global Climate Change for Jupiter”, Philip Marcus, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, November 2002. — Image

“Vortex Avalanches”, Xylar Asay-Davis, Sushil Shetty, Philip Marcus, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, November 2002. — Image

2000

“Energy Spectra in Turbulent Geophysical Flows”, Tonushree Kundu, Philip Marcus, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, November 2000. — Image

“Attractors of Kármán Vortex Streets”, T. D. Humphreys, P. S. Marcus, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, November 2000. — Image

“Vortex dynamics and zonal flows”, P. S. Marcus, T. Kundu, C. Lee, The Physics of Plasmas, vol. 7, pp. 1630-1640, published May 2000, doi: 10.1063/1.874045. — PDF

1999

“How the Inverse Turbulent Cascade and Vortex Dynamics Create Planetary Zonal Flows”, Philip S Marcus, APS Division of Plasma Physics Meeting Abstracts, November 1999. — PDF

“Jovian Vortex Streets as Attractors of a Nearly-Hamiltonian PDE”, Tom D. Humphreys, Philip S. Marcus, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, November 1999. — Image

“Jupiter’s Zonal Flows: The Effect of Differential Rotation on a Forced and Dissipated Three-Dimensional System”, Tonushree Kundu, Philip S Marcus, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, November 1999. — Image

“Asymmetries in Eastward and Westward Jets in a Model Planetary Atmosphere”, Marcus, Philip, Lee, C., ed. Coughlin, Katie, 1999, Centre de Recherches Mathematiques – Proceedings & Lecture Notes, vol. 20, pp. 85-100, pub. American Math Society.

1998

“Creation of Jovian Zonal Winds”, Tonushree Kundu, Philip S Marcus, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, November 1998. — Image

“The Distribution of Potential Vorticity in Planetary Vortices”, Ashraf Youssef, Philip S Marcus, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, November 1998. — Image

“The Formation and Maintenance of the Zonal Winds of Jupiter and Saturn”, Philip S Marcus, January 1998, NASA STI/Recon Technical Report N, pp. 45688.

“A model for eastward and westward jets in laboratory experiments and planetary atmospheres”, P. S. Marcus, C. Lee, Physics of Fluids, vol. 10, no. 6, pp. 1474-1489, June 1998, doi: 10.1063/1.869668. — PDF

1997

“The Breakdown of Cyclone/Anticyclone Degeneracy in Jupiter’s Atmosphere: Modeling of Cloud Morphologies by Lagrangian Passive Tracers”, T. Kundu, P. S. Marcus, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, November 1997. — Image

“Kármán Vortex Streets As Stable Attractors of Forced-Dissipated Flows”, T. D. Humphreys, P. S. Marcus, APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting Abstracts, November 1997. — Image

1996

“Turbulent Bursts in Couette-Taylor Flow”, K. Coughlin, P. S. Marcus, Physical Review Letters, vol. 77, pp. 2214-2217, September 1996, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.77.2214. — PDF

1994

“Infrared Observations of the Comet SL9/Jupiter Impacts at Keck”, Imke de Pater, J. R. Graham, G. Jernigan, M. Brown, M. Liu, P. Marcus, M. Fomenkova, A. Ingersoll, G. Orton, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, vol. 26, pp. 1566, June 1994.

“Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and zonal winds as a self‐consistent, one‐layer, quasi-geostrophic flow”, Philip S. Marcus, Changhoon Lee, Chaos, vol. 4, pp. 269-286, April 1994, doi: 10.1063/1.166007. — PDF

1993

“Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and Other Vortices”, Philip S. Marcus, The Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. 31, pp. 523-573, September 1993, doi: 10.1146/annurev.aa.31.090193.002515. — PDF

1992

“Vortex Dynamics in Zone-Belt Flows”, P. Marcus, R. Van Buskirk, Summer Study Program in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, pub. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1992.

1990

“Vortex dynamics in a shearing zonal flow”, Philip S. Marcus, The Journal of Fluid Mechanics, vol. 215, pp. 393-430, 1990, doi: 10.1017/S0022112090002695. — PDF

“The Red Spot of Jupiter”, Philip S. Marcus, The Impact of Mathematics: Nonlinear Mathematics, Chaos, and Fractals in Science, proceedings of a symposium sponsored by the National Research Council, National Academy Press, 1990, pp. 47–51.

“Models of the Great Red Spot”, Philip S. Marcus, Joel Sommeria, Meyers, Steven D. Meyers, Harry L. Swinney, Nature, vol. 343, pp. 517-518, February 1990, doi: 10.1038/343517b0. — PDF

1989

“Nonlinear hydrodynamical instabilities, transitions, and coherent features: Final report”, P. S. Marcus, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, issue UCRL-21155, June 1989.

“Vortex Dynamics”, Philip S. Marcus, Physics Today, pp. S40-S-41, 1989.

1988

“Numerical Simulation of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot”, Philip S. Marcus, Nature, vol. 331, pp. 693-696, February 1988, doi: 10.1038/331693a0. — PDF

1987

“Spatial Self-Organization of Vortices in Chaotic Shearing Flows”, Philip Marcus, Nuclear Physics B – Proceedings Supplements, vol. 2, pp. 127-138, November 1987, doi: 10.1016/0920-5632(87)90013-2. — PDF

1985

“Coherent vortical features in a turbulent two‐dimensional flow and the Great Red Spot of Jupiter”, Philip S. Marcus, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 78, pp. S11, November 1985, doi: 10.1121/1.2022646. — PDF