Laboratory Experiments on Planetary and Stellar Convection Performed on Spacelab 3

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Science  03 Oct 1986:
Vol. 234, Issue 4772, pp. 61-64
DOI: 10.1126/science.234.4772.61


Experiments on thermal convection in a rotating, differentially heated hemispherical shell with a radial buoyancy force were conducted in an orbiting microgravity laboratory. A variety of convective structures, or planforms, were observed, depending on the magnitude of the rotation and the nature of the imposed heating distribution. The results are compared with numerical simulations that can be conducted at the more modest heating rates, and suggest possible regimes of motion in rotating planets and stars.