Angular Momentum and Heat Transport on Tidally Locked Hot Jupiter Planets

João M Mendonça*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The atmospheric circulation in the upper atmosphere of hot Jupiter planets is strongly influenced by the incoming stellar radiation. In this work we explore the results from a 3D atmospheric model and revisit the main processes driving the circulation in hot Jupiter planets. We use the angular momentum transport as a diagnostic and carry out a Fourier analysis to identify the atmospheric waves involved. We find that the coupling between the angular momentum transported horizontally by the semi-diurnal tide and the mean circulation is the mechanism responsible for producing the strong jet at low latitudes. Our simulations indicate the possible formation of atmospheric indirect cells at low latitudes. The formation of these cells is induced by the presence of the semi-diurnal tide that is driven by the stellar irradiation. The tropical circulation has an important impact transporting heat and momentum from the upper towards the lower atmosphere. One of the consequences of this heat and momentum transport is a global increase of the temperature. We show that the initial conditions do not affect the output of the reference simulation. However, when the period of rotation of the planet was increased (Prot > 5 Earth days), vertical transport by stationary waves became stronger, transient waves became non-negligible, and Coriolis influence less dominant, which allowed a steady state with a strong retrograde jet to be stable. We found that at least two statically steady state solutions exist for the same planet parameters.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1456-1470
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society following peer review. The version of record is available online at


  • Hydrodynamics
  • Methods: numerical
  • Planets and satellites: atmospheres

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