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Limit of Wind speed

  1. Dec 3, 2015 #1
    Besides solar wind, what is the limit of a natural wind on planets? I know it's based on rotation and atmospheric pressure differences, but is there an upper limit to how fast wind can get on a planetary scale?

    I would imagine that the speed of sound would justify a limit, but that doesn't make sense to me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2015 #2


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    I remember reading that there are wind speeds in our solar system that are 5 times the speed of sound on Earth, so no, I'd say that's not a limit.
  4. Dec 3, 2015 #3


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    Solar wind is VERY fast ... at the time of typing this it is ....

    Solar wind

    speed: 369.9 km/sec

    It can often exceed 1000 km/s with rare peaks to 3000km/s

    do some googling on jet streams on earth and wind speeds on Jupiter ... some respectable numbers

  5. Dec 3, 2015 #4


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    Oh, I was talking about winds on planets, since that's what the question was about.
  6. Dec 4, 2015 #5

    jim mcnamara

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  7. Dec 4, 2015 #6
    A good example of wind speed limitation here on Earth is that hurricanes and other cyclones always disintegrate rapidly when they encounter land masses.
    A land mass cannot supply energy to the storm system to keep it going as a warm ocean does, and things like forests and mountain ranges are quite effective at draining away the energy which already is accumulated.
  8. Dec 4, 2015 #7
    There is a limit on the angular velocity of any planets after which it would break up or become ovoid. That would limit the wind speed.

    How about wind on a neutron star with equatorial velocity of c/10? Neutron stars have atmospheres of carbon gas. Though only a few inches thick, I don't see why there couldn't be wind.

    The speed of sound would have nothing to do with it, since wind is molecules moving together, not oscillating.
  9. Dec 10, 2015 #8
    Thanks for the responses everyone. After looking at some examples, there definitely doesn't appear to be a limit (other then the speed of light of course xd).
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