The proposing team is developing a linked series of 3-dimensional hydrodynamic models for the impact, plume blowout, and plume flight/splash phases of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL9) and 2009 Jupiter impact events. With previous NSF support, they have focused on impact and plume development modeling. In this project, they will model the plume blowout and waves generated in the Jovian atmosphere. The models will test theories for the expanding rings seen by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Each theory is sensitive to different fundamental Jovian atmospheric parameters; successful match of a mechanism to data will yield one or more parameter measurements. The composite model will distinguish among the competing theories by replicating each one's essential physics and determining whether it is consistent with the impact energy and HST images. The proposers will adjust the viscosity in the splash model until the outer part of the plume re-entry shock matches the expanding infrared rings; this will place a tight constraint on Jovian eddy viscosity. The project will test the hypothesis that the plumes had a strong density enhancement at their maximum velocity that produced the observed infrared ring and infrared light curves. The work will produce the first observationally-constrained 3D radiative-hydrodynamic-chemical model of all phases of a cometary impact. The project will, in addition, support the work and training of one graduate student, and the proposing team will produce video animations from their simulations that will be useful for public outreach.

Agency
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Institute
Division of Astronomical Sciences (AST)
Application #
1109729
Program Officer
Maria Womack
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2011-08-01
Budget End
2014-07-31
Support Year
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$422,579
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Central Florida
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Orlando
State
FL
Country
United States
Zip Code
32816