Monday, 25 June, 2018

See Dramatic Cyclones Churning on Jupiter's Surface in These New NASA Photos

Jupiter is covered in violent, powerful winds that last hundreds of years NASA mission discovers Jupiter's inner secrets
Velma Reese | 12 March, 2018, 01:10

They have very violent winds, reaching, in some cases, speeds as great as 220 miles per hour (350 kph).

You can see an up-close view of some of the other colorful, swirling storms in the composite flyby captured by Juno at its perijove, or the point in its orbit nearest to the planet's center, in the gorgeous video below.

The co-investigator also added that the remarkable feature about the cyclones is that they are enduring and very close together. These new discoveries relate to its gravitational field, its chaotic atmosphere, the composition of its interior and its polar cyclones, and allow scientists to form a more complete picture of the larger planet of our solar system. A feature such as it is something that is like nothing else that has been observed so far in the solar system.

Unfortunately, 2018 will mark the past year for Juno; researchers plan on performing a controlled deorbit for the spacecraft, sending it into Jupiter's atmosphere to disintegrate.

One big riddle raised by this unprecedented study of Jupiter's poles is why the cyclones continue to rage as separate entities.

These are just some of the discoveries reported by four global research teams, based on observations by NASA's Juno spacecraft circling Jupiter.

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Before Juno reached its target in 2016, it was not known whether the colourful bands wrapped around Jupiter were just a pretty surface phenomenon, or whether they were enormous deep layers penetrating down into the abyss below.

Refined measurements of Jupiter's uneven gravity field enabled the Weizmann Institute of Science's Yohai Kaspi in Rehovot, Israel, and his colleagues to calculate the depth of the jet streams at about 3,000 km. Now, following the Juno gravity measurements, we know how deep the jets extend and what their structure is beneath the visible clouds.

In addition to the cyclones, NASA also revealed that Juno's advanced instruments have been able for the first time to peer deep into Jupiter's interior.

These discoveries and others are detailed in a series of papers published this month in the journal Nature.

The results given by Juno spacecraft came as a surprise to the NASA team as it indicated that the weather layer of the Jupiter was more massive, extending much deeper than expected. The Jovian weather layer, from its very top to a depth of 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers), contains about one percent of Jupiter's mass (about 3 Earth masses). As a comparison, our atmosphere accounts for less than one-millionth of Earth's mass.

It has not yet been determined if Jupiter has a solid core or not, but it has been suggested in a separate study - led by Professor Tristan Guillot of the Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur - that between the core (if there is one) and the circling winds, that the gas rotates more or less as a single body, nearly as if it were a solid. Its north pole is dominated by a central cyclone surrounded by eight circumpolar cyclones with diameters ranging from 2,500 to 2,900 miles (4,000 to 4,600 kilometers) across.

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