Thursday, April 23, 2009

From Convection On Spinning Surfaces To Complex Weather Patterns On Earth and Jupiter

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35) Taylor Cuette Vortices Between Two Spinning Surfaces

The next spin we can introduce to the story IS spinning. If you put a rotating cylinder inside another rotating cylinder and fill the space between them with fluid a similar thing happens. As you increase the relative speeds various discrete numbers of fluid rolls form:

Pictures here:

36) Combine Convection With A Spinning Earth And We Get Our Atmospheric Circulation Patterns

When you combine convection on the surface of the Earth under sunlight with the fact that the Earth spins (Coriolis effect) the convection breaks up into a curious pattern of cells which dominate world weather patterns.

37) Storm Cells

Add the complication of the fact that when you cool moist air it breaks up into DISCRETE tiny droplets of water or ice, which then fall... you get distinct creatures which can last for many days called storm cells, hurricanes and tiny tornadoes.

Pictures of diagrams of storm cells

38) Vortex Streets

Lab with fluids or smoke to show the formation of discrete vortices in turbulent fluid flow!

39) Weather On Jupiter

Increase the speed of rotation of our spinning sphere and the weather goes wild: Jupiter

Pictures of discrete cells on Jupiter.

The great red spot of Jupiter is one of many storm cells. Some last for years, the red spot has so far lasted a couple hundred years at least. (actually I'm combobulating three kinds of structures here: the Taylor vortices, the Benard cells, the complex thing a terrestrial storm cell is, and turbulence vortices. (hah! are there distinct types here? do they all blend? ) ) not 100% sure which the red spot is, or maybe a combination.. Already there is much complication before we even get to biological evolution!

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almost native to new york state. teacher and storyteller. email: