Skip to content
BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access December 31, 2020

Predictive model linking super-rotation, magnetospheric generation and atmospheric heating

  • Jonathan Peter Merrison EMAIL logo
From the journal Open Astronomy


This work applies a previously suggested model of gravitational field propagation to various planetary bodies within the solar system. Primarily the goal has been to critically test the validity of this model by identifying observations which are in direct conflict with it. Specifically this model predicts a Doppler shift in gravitational acceleration (gD). Applying the model to the planets and the Sun gD acts to increase planetary spin, opposing various sources of drag. The model is seen not to be in conflict with a wide variety of observed parameters which have been treated here and is shown to quantitatively account for several observed phenomena previously thought to be unrelated and which have been di˚cult to explain conventionally. These phenomena include the internal heat generation and magnetospheric generation within the gas giants as well as super rotation which seen in most planetary atmospheres as well as the Sun as differential rotation. This model for the first time provides a quantitative prediction of the low internal heat generation seen in Uranus compared to Neptune. It also provides a novel mechanism for solar coronal heating, thermospheric heating in the gas giants and the correlation between climate and magnetosphere observed on Earth.


Aschwanden MJ. 2001. An Evaluation of Coronal Heating Models for Active Regions Based on Yohkoh, SOHO, and TRACE Observations. Astrophys J. 560(2):1035–1044.10.1086/323064Search in Google Scholar

Aschwanden MJ. 2005. Physics of the Solar Corona: An Introduction with Problems and Solutions. Chichester, UK: Praxis Publishing.Search in Google Scholar

Bottke WF, Brož M, O’Brien DP, Campo Bagatin A, Morbidelli A, Marchi S. 2015. The collisional evolution of the main asteroid belt. In: Michel P, et al., editors. Asteroids IV. Tucson: Univ. of Arizona; p. 701–724.10.2458/azu_uapress_9780816532131-ch036Search in Google Scholar

Britt DT, Consolmagno GJ. 2001. Asteroid bulk density: Implications for the structure of asteroids. Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, March 12-16, Houston, Texas.Search in Google Scholar

Britt DT, Yeomans D, Housen K, Consolmagno GJ. 2002. Asteroid density, porosity, and structure. In: Bottke WF, editor. Asteroids III. University of Arizona Press; p. 485.10.2307/j.ctv1v7zdn4.37Search in Google Scholar

Chanover N. 2013. Atmospheres of Jovian Planets. In: Oswalt TD, French LM, Kalas P, editors. Planets, Stars and Stellar Systems. Dordrecht: Springer.10.1007/978-94-007-5606-9_5Search in Google Scholar

Courtillot V, Gallet Y, Le Mouël JL, Fluteau F, Genevey A. 2007. Are there connections between the Earth’s magnetic field and climate? Earth Planet Sci Lett. 253(3-4):328–339.10.1016/j.epsl.2006.10.032Search in Google Scholar

Cowley SWH, Nichols JD, Jackman CM. 2015. Down-tail mass loss by plasmoids in Jupiter’s and Saturn’s magnetospheres. J Geophys Res Space Phys. 120(8):6347-6356.10.1002/2015JA021500Search in Google Scholar

Goldreich P, Soter S. 1966. Q in the Solar System. Icarus. 5(1-6):375–389.10.1016/0019-1035(66)90051-0Search in Google Scholar

Hanel RA, Conrath BJ, Kunde VG, Pearl JC, Pirraglia JA. 1983. Albedo, internal heat flux, and energy balance of Saturn. Icarus. 53(2):262–285.10.1016/0019-1035(83)90147-1Search in Google Scholar

Helled R, Anderson JD, Podolak M, Schubert G. 2011. Interior models of Uranus and Neptune. Astrophys. J. 726:15.10.1088/0004-637X/726/1/15Search in Google Scholar

Holmberg MKG, Wahlund J-E, Vigren E, Cassidy TA, Andrews DJ. 2016. Transport and chemical loss rates in Saturn’s inner plasma disk. J Geophys Res Space Phys. 121(3):2321–2334.10.1002/2015JA021784Search in Google Scholar

Hunten DM, Veverka J. 1976. Stellar and spacecraft occultation by Jupiter: A critical review of derived temperature profiles. In: Gehrels T. Editor. Jupiter, University of Arizona Press, Tucson, p. 247–283.Search in Google Scholar

Ishikawa S, Glesener L, Krucker S, Christe S, Buitrago-Casas JC, Narukage N, et al. 2017. Detection of nanoflare-heated plasma in the solar corona by the FOXSI-2 sounding rocket. Nat Astron. 1(11):771–774.10.1038/s41550-017-0269-zSearch in Google Scholar

Klimchuk JA. 2006. On solving the coronal heating problem. Sol Phys. 234(1):41–77.10.1007/s11207-006-0055-zSearch in Google Scholar

Kong D, Zhang K, Schubert G, Anderson JD. 2018. Origin of Jupiter’s cloud-level zonal winds remains a puzzle even after Juno. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 115(34):8499–8504.10.1073/pnas.1805927115Search in Google Scholar

Kumar N, Kumar P, Singh S. 2006. Coronal heating by MHD waves. Astron Astrophys. 453(3):1067–1078.10.1051/0004-6361:20054141Search in Google Scholar

Kundt W. No. I I. Vol. 31. Pergamon Press; 1983. p. 1339–1343. (ATMOSPHERIC SUPERROTATION ON SATURN AND JUPITER, Planet. Spore SW).10.1016/0032-0633(83)90070-3Search in Google Scholar

Lainey V. 2016. Quantification of tidal parameters from Solar System data. Celestial Mech Dyn Astron. 126(1-3):145–156.10.1007/s10569-016-9695-ySearch in Google Scholar

Li L, Jiang X, West RA, Gierasch PJ, Perez-Hoyos S, Sanchez-Lavega A, et al. 2018. Less absorbed solar energy and more internal heat for Jupiter. Nat Commun. 9(1):3709.10.1038/s41467-018-06107-2Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

Lewis SR, Dawson J, Read PL, Mendonça J, Ruan T, Montabone L. 2012. Super-rotating jets in the atmospheres of terrestrial planets. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets, 8051.Search in Google Scholar

Lund MN, Miesch MS, Christensen-Dalsgaard J. 2014. Differential rotation in main-sequence solar-like stars: Qualitative inference from asteroseismic data. The Astrophys. J. 790:121.10.1088/0004-637X/790/2/121Search in Google Scholar

Macdonald GJF. 1964. Tidal Friction. Rev Geophys. 2(3):467.10.1029/RG002i003p00467Search in Google Scholar

Merrison JP. 2016. A Modified Relativistic Model of Gravitational Propagation. IJAA. 6(3):312–327.10.4236/ijaa.2016.63026Search in Google Scholar

Miesch MS, Toomre J. 2009. Turbulence, Magnetism, and Shear in Stellar Interiors. Annu Rev Fluid Mech. 41(1):317–345.10.1146/annurev.fluid.010908.165215Search in Google Scholar

Mlynczak MG, Hunt LA, Russell JM 3rd, Marshall BT, Mertens CJ, Thompson RE. 2016. The global infrared energy budget of the thermosphere from 1947 to 2016 and implications for solar variability. Geophys Res Lett. 43(23):11934–11940.10.1002/2016GL070965Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

Modisette JL. 1967. Solar wind induced torque on the Sun. J Geophys Res. 72(5):1521–1526.10.1029/JZ072i005p01521Search in Google Scholar

Mohazzabi P, Skalbeck JD. 2015. Superrotation of Earth’s inner core, Extraterrestrial Impacts, and the effective viscosity of outer core. Geophys. J. Int. 2015:763716. DOI: in Google Scholar

Morbidelli A, Walsh KJ, O’Brien DP, Minton DA, Bottke WF. 2015. The dynamical evolution of the asteroid belt. In: Michel P, et al.. Editors. Asteroids IV. Tucson: Univ. of Arizona; p. 493–507.10.2458/azu_uapress_9780816532131-ch026Search in Google Scholar

O’Donoghue J, Moore L, Connerney J, Melin H, Stallard TS, Miller S. 2019. Observations of the chemical and thermal response of ‘ring rain’ on Saturn’s ionosphere. Icarus. 322:251–260.10.1016/j.icarus.2018.10.027Search in Google Scholar

Pandey K, Narain U. 2001. On solar coronal heating. Bull Astron Soc India. 29:231–238.Search in Google Scholar

Pravec P, Harris AW, Michalowski T. 2002. Asteroid rotations. In: Bottke WF, Cellino A, Paolicchi P, Binzel RP. Editors. Asteroids III. Tucson: Univ. of Arizona; p. 113–122.10.2307/j.ctv1v7zdn4.15Search in Google Scholar

Read PL, Lebonnois S. 2018. Superrotation on Venus, on Titan, and Elsewhere. Annu Rev Earth Planet Sci. 46(1):175–202.10.1146/annurev-earth-082517-010137Search in Google Scholar

Richardson JD, Belcher JW, Lazarus AJ, Paularena KI, Gazis PR. 1996. Statistical properties of the solar wind Citation. AIP Conf Proc. 382:483–486.10.1063/1.51433Search in Google Scholar

Rishbeth H. 1971. Rotation of the variation of upper atmosphere. Nature. 229(5283): 333–334.10.1038/229333a0Search in Google Scholar

Rubincam DP. 2000. Radiative spin-up and spin-down of small asteroids. Icarus. 148(1):2–11.10.1006/icar.2000.6485Search in Google Scholar

Schneider T, Liu J. 2009. Formation of Jets and Equatorial Superrotation on Jupiter. J Atmos Sci. 66(3):579–601.10.1175/2008JAS2798.1Search in Google Scholar

Siscoe GL. 2001. 70 years of magnetospheric modeling, space weather. Geophysical Monograph 125 by the American Geophysical Union.Search in Google Scholar

Suess S. 1999. Overview and current knowledge of the solar wind and the corona. The Solar Probe. NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center.Search in Google Scholar

Yamamoto M. 2017. Probability distribution of surface wind speed induced by convective adjustment on Venus. Icarus. 284:314–324.10.1016/j.icarus.2016.11.027Search in Google Scholar

Yung YL, Lyons JR, Selesnick RS. 1990. Heating of Neptunes thermosphere by the magnetospheric electric field. Abstract of the 22nd Annual DPS. Id. 1105.Search in Google Scholar

Zhu X. 2005. Dynamics in planetary atmospheric physics: Comparative studies of equatorial superrotation for Venus, Titan, and Earth. Johns Hopkins, APL Technical Digest. 26(2):164-174.Search in Google Scholar

Zhu X. 2006. Maintenance of equatorial superrotation in the atmospheres of Venus and Titan. Planet Space Sci. 54(8):761–773.10.1016/j.pss.2006.05.004Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2020-09-01
Accepted: 2020-12-03
Published Online: 2020-12-31

© 2020 Jonathan Peter Merrison, published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Downloaded on 31.5.2023 from
Scroll to top button