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Appendix A – Extra

Planet Jopitar – Commentary and References

Clarifying non-fictional commentary and references concerning
the physical model adopted for the planet Jopitar

          Jopitar is modeled after the planet Jupiter, the dominant gas giant in our own solar system. Planetary scientists Ingersoll et al. have written an account of the dynamics of the accessible atmosphere of Jupiter [1]. This overview describes a range of Earth-based and spacecraft observations, and examines hypotheses proposed to explain the data.
          Marley and Fortney have published a book chapter that surveys our current understanding of the interiors of giant planets [2]. The structure adopted for Jopitar is an amalgam of configurations proposed for Jupiter by various researchers. [3][4][5][6]  In all cases, a molecular hydrogenous atmosphere envelops the planet, to a depth (measured from the top of the troposphere, or active weather layer) of about 14,000 kilometers, some 20% of the planet radius.
          Temperature and pressure both increase with depth through the troposphere, to balance the increasing weight of overlying material. The rate at which temperature increases with depth is known as the lapse rate, an important parameter in modeling any atmosphere. Assuming the fluid is well mixed by convection, the lapse rate is adiabatic, and determined by the local strength of gravity, the atmospheric composition, and the equation of state – the relationship between temperature, pressure, and density. [7]
          The elemental composition of the atmosphere used in the Jopitar model is over 92% (by number of atoms) hydrogen, 7% helium, and less than 1% heavier elements. The hydrogen is primarily in molecular form. The detailed abundances of important elements and molecules beneath the water clouds are generally close to values for Jupiter reported by Atreya and Wong [8] and by Wong et al. [9], respectively. An important exception applies to water (and hence, to oxygen), which is an order of magnitude more abundant in the Jopitar model. The published values largely derive from measurements by the Galileo space probe, which apparently descended through an atypical dry column in the Jupiter atmosphere, and may have grossly underestimated the actual deep abundance of water.
          At its upper levels, Jopitar's atmosphere is an ordinary gas. Yet because of the thermodynamic properties of molecular hydrogen, it becomes a supercritical fluid [10] at a depth of about 140 kilometers. The fluid becomes progressively more like a liquid and less like a gas at greater depths, with no abrupt transition from gas to liquid.
          The vertical distribution of the principal upper cloud layers (ammonia ice, ammonium hydrosulfide ice, water ice, ammonia-bearing liquid water) was modeled on work by Atreya and Wong [11] for Jupiter. Depths of lower, more exotic cloud layers (ammonium halide, alkali sulfide, alkali halide, silicate, magnesium-silicate, iron, etc.) are based on a publication by Fegley and Lodders [12]. Magnesium is assumed to be depleted with respect to silicon in Jopitar's lower troposphere (presumably, a larger proportion of magnesium is locked away in the planet's core). Otherwise most atmospheric silicon, crucial for jopian life, would condense there in magnesium-silicate clouds, and not be available at higher, more temperate levels.
          Pressure-temperature-density profiles from the top of the troposphere to below the water clouds were modeled with guidance from Jupiter data published by Seiff et al. [13] and by Sanchez-Lavega et al. [14]. Lapse rates were assumed to be dry adiabats (atmosphere not saturated with water vapor) in the former case, and moist adiabats (saturated atmosphere) in the latter. Profiles at progressively greater depths, to the base of Jopitar's molecular hydrogen envelope, were estimated using equations of state published by Slattery and Hubbard [15], Graboske et al. [16], and Kerley [17].
          Jopitar's two-layer upper- and mid-tropospheric convection systems derive from a paper by Showman and de Pater [18] for Jupiter. In the upper convection pattern, net upwelling occurs in the bright zones (leading to high, white ammonia ice clouds there), and net downwelling occurs in the darker belts. The situation is reversed in the mid-level convection pattern. Yet the net ascent at mid-tropospheric levels cannot be uniform across each belt, as this would produce thick zone-like stratus water clouds and a (moist adiabatic) temperature profile that inhibits thunderstorm formation. Powerful storms such as those observed in Jupiter's belts, and so crucial to the life cycle of the reys on Jopitar, would not be possible. Instead, ascending matter in belt thunderstorms must dominate over gradual subsidence between storms. Descriptions and models of moist convective storms, and analyses on how they might feed into large-scale flow structures, have been published by Hueso and Sánchez-Lavega [19] and by Li et al. [20].
          The existence of a weak radiative layer (where upward heat flow is carried mainly by radiation, rather than convection) at the base of the mid-tropospheric system was motivated by a paper by Guillot et al. [21]. The Jopitar layer is assumed to be much thinner than the one proposed for Jupiter, to enable hot convective plumes, rich in nutrients, to routinely break through from below. The existence of a lower-tropospheric convection system, beneath the radiative layer, is purely hypothetical.
          Approaching the base of Jopitar's atmosphere, the pressure and temperature become so large that a phase transition occurs. Electrons are squeezed out of hydrogen atoms, and the molecular hydrogen fluid becomes liquid metallic hydrogen [22]. The transition from molecular hydrogen may be gradual, and span a layer thousands of kilometers thick. Beneath this is an abyssal global ocean of metallic hydrogen, some 48,500 kilometers deep.
          At the heart of Jopitar is a rock/ice core with a diameter of 18,000 kilometers, containing the mass of 7.5 Earths. This mass value is typical of the referenced models for Jupiter, which range from 0 (no core) to about 15. The rock component in Jopitar's case is assumed to be concentrated in a central volume 13,000 kilometers across, which is sheathed by a layer of dirty molten ices (water, ammonia, methane). According to the accretion model of giant planet formation [23], a smaller, bare primordial core may have formed by accretion in the early yads of the suolar system. As this body accumulated mass, its gravitational attraction on the surrounding nebula grew, until it pulled in the huge quantities of gaseous material that now form the bulk of the planet.
1. Andrew P. Ingersoll, Timothy E. Dowling, Peter J. Gierasch, Glenn S. Orton, Peter L. Read, Agustin Sánchez-Lavega, Adam P. Showman, Amy A. Simon-Miller, and Ashwin R. Vasavada,"Dynamics of Jupiter’s Atmosphere," in Jupiter: the Planet, Satellites and Magnetosphere, ed. Fran Bagenal, Timothy Dowling, and William McKinnon (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004), 105-128.
2. Mark S. Marley and Jonathan J. Fortney, "Interiors of the Giant Planets," in Encyclopedia of the Solar System, 3rd Edition, ed. Tilman Spohn, Doris Breuer, and Torrence V. Johnson (Oxford: Elsevier, 2014), 743-758.
3. N. Nettelmann, R. Redmer, and D. Blaschke, "Warm Dense Matter in Giant Planets and Exoplanets," Physics of Particles and Nuclei 39, no. 7 (2008): 1122–1127.
4. Jonathan J. Fortney, "The Structure of Jupiter, Saturn, and Exoplanets: Key Questions for High-Pressure Experiments," Astrophysics and Space Science 307 (2007): 279-283.
5. Tristan Guillot, "The Interiors of Giant Planets: Models and Outstanding Questions," Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 33 (2005): 493-530.
6. Gerald I. Kerley, Structures of the Planets Jupiter and Saturn, Kerley Technical Services report KTS04-1, Appomattox, VA, December, 2004.
7. Robert A. West, "Atmospheres of the Giant Planets," in Encyclopedia of the Solar System, 725.
8. Sushil K. Atreya and Ah-San Wong, "Coupled Clouds and Chemistry of the Giant Planets – A Case for Multiprobes," Space Science Reviews 116 (2005): 123.
9. Michael H. Wong, Paul R. Mahaffy, Sushil K. Atreya, Hasso B. Niemann, and Tobias C. Owen, "Updated Galileo probe mass spectrometer measurements of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur on Jupiter," Icarus 171 (2004): 161.
10. Mark S. Marley and Jonathan J. Fortney, "Interiors of the Giant Planets," 744.
11. Atreya and Wong, "Coupled Clouds and Chemistry of the Giant Planets," 127.
12. Bruce Fegley, Jr., and Katharina Lodders, "Chemical Models of the Deep Atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn," Icarus 110 (1994): 117-154.
13. Alvin Seif, Donn B. Kirk, Tony C. D. Knight, Richard E. Young, John D. Mihalov, Leslie A. Young, Frank S. Milos, Gerald Schubert, Robert C. Blanchard, and David Atkinson, "Thermal structure of Jupiter's atmosphere near the edge of a 5-micron hot spot in the north equatorial belt," Journal of Geophysical Research 103, no. E10 (1998): 22,857-22,889.
14. A. Sánchez-Lavega, G. S. Orton, R. Hueso, et al., "Depth of a strong jovian jet from a planetary-scale disturbance driven by storms," Nature 451 (2008): 437-440.
15. W. L. Slattery and W. B. Hubbard, "Thermodynamics of a Solar Mixture of Molecular Hydrogen and Helium at High Pressure," Icarus 29 (1976): 189.
16. Harold C. Graboske, Jr., Robert J. Olness, and Allan S. Grossman, "Thermodynamics of Dense Hydrogen-Helium Fluids," The Astrophysical Journal 199 (1975): 260.
17. Gerald I. Kerley, “Structures of the Planets Jupiter and Saturn,” 32.
18. Adam P. Showman and Imke de Pater, "Dynamical implications of Jupiter’s tropospheric ammonia abundance," Icarus 174 (2005): 192–204.
19. Ricardo Hueso and Agustín Sánchez-Lavega, "Moist Convective Storms in the Atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn," in The Many Scales in The Universe: JENAM 2004 Astrophysical Reviews, ed. J. C. del Toro Iniesta, E. J. Alfaro, J. G. Gorgas, E. Salvador-Solé, and H. Butcher (Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer, 2006), 211-220.
20. Liming Li, Andrew P. Ingersoll, and Xianglei Huang, "Interaction of moist convection with zonal jets on Jupiter and Saturn," Icarus 180 (2006): 113-123.
21. T. Guillot, G. Chabrier, P. Morel, and D. Gautier, "Nonadiabatic Models of Jupiter and Saturn," Icarus 112 (1994): 354-367.
22. Mark S. Marley and Jonathan J. Fortney, "Interiors of the Giant Planets," 748-749.
23. John E. Chambers and Alex N. Halliday, "The Origin of the Solar System," in Encyclopedia of the Solar System, 49-50.