NASA Juno spacecraft sheds light on Jovian atmospheric features


NASA Juno spacecraft sheds light on Jovian atmospheric features

The probe captured data showing that the atmospheric winds of the gas-giant planet run deep into its atmosphere and last longer than similar atmospheric processes found here on Earth.

Jupiter's poles are blanketed by geometric clusters of cyclones and its atmosphere is deeper than scientists suspected.

However, the planet's rotation should deform the body in a symmetric way and so, Iess said, the asymmetric part of the gravity field can only be due to dynamical phenomena, such as flows in the atmosphere. Yohai Kaspi and Eli Galanti of Israel's Weizmann Institute, along with Prof. During this time, the team built mathematical tools to analyze the gravitational field data; these are what would enable the researchers to get a grasp on Jupiter's atmosphere. Juno passed closer to the planet than any other spacecraft before - sometimes only a few thousand kilometers.

"They have very violent winds, reaching, in some cases, speeds as great as 220 miles per hour (350 kph)". The deeper the jet streams on the planet, the more mass they contain and cause a stronger signal expressed in the gravity fields. But according to rumor, Saturn is different in a very specific way-its dynamic weather appears to extend much deeper into the planet than Jupiter's, just as predicted.

The team looked for anomalies - measurements that show the planet deviating from a ideal sphere. How far down do these wind bands go, and what connection do they have to the planet's dense interior of hydrogen and helium? "Since Jupiter is basically a giant ball of gas", explains Prof.

Guillot and his colleagues say the gravitational asymmetry is the result of complex atmospheric and interior wind flows. However, in 2013, while the craft was still en route to Jupiter, Prof. The north pole has an octahedron structure, and the south pole has a pentagon shape. If the winds were deep - say, 2,000 miles - the asymmetry of the gravity field is large.

NASA JPL-Caltech SwRI ASI INAF JIRAMThis computer-generated image shows the structure of the cyclonic pattern observed over Jupiter’s south pole

"We are beginning to realize that not all gas giants are created equal", said Alberto Adriani, a scientist on the Juno project.

The cyclonic winds Juno discovered extend deeper into the planet than any similar weather pattern on Earth - as far as 1,900 miles, or 3,000 kilometers, into Jupiter, constituting about 1% of its mass. Moreover, Prof. Kaspi and Dr. Galanti developed a method of determining not only the overall depth of the flow, but also precisely how those flows, hidden beneath Jupiter's clouds, change with depth. At that boundary, atmospheric pressures 100,000 times higher than those at Earth's surface strip protons and electrons from the planet's hydrogen.

The great red spot is a persistent high-pressure region in the atmosphere of Jupiter, producing an anticyclonic storm which has been observed from earth for over 200 years. "That is much more than anyone thought and more than what has been known from other planets in the Solar System, says Kaspi". These bands rotate at speeds that differ by up to 100 meters per second.

The first of the three Nature papers, led by Prof. Luciano Less of Sapienza University of Rome, and Prof.

Scientists also discovered that Jupiter's gaseous core rotates like a solid body. The findings were confirmed with all the researchers getting the same measurements. It is the fifth planet from the sun. He also thinks of them as a testimony to the value of exploring the unknown with next-generation instruments.



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