Saturday, 15 December, 2018

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

Data from NASA’s Juno spacecraft orbiting the solar system’s largest planet since 2016 is providing researchers with what they called unprecedented insight into Jupiter’s internal dynamics and structure See Dramatic Cyclones Churning on Jupiter's Surface in These New NASA Photos
Sandra Phillips | 10 March, 2018, 09:39

The banded stripes circling Jupiter have fascinated people as much as the Great Red Spot, ever since Galileo first spotted the gas giant. Launched in 2011, Juno has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016 and peering beneath the thick ammonia clouds.

By better understanding these strong jet streams and the gravity field, Mr. Kaspi said scientists can better decipher the core of Jupiter.

The calculations also show that Jupiter's atmosphere makes up 1% of its total mass.

NASA's Juno Mission has revealed Jupiter's cyclone clusters mystery and showed that a certain amount of polygonally shaped cyclones that lye deep in 1,900 miles into the surface that are now visible thanks to NASA's efforts. According to NASA, the magnitude of the gravitational asymmetry determines how deep the jet streams go.

Juno co-investigator from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, Yohai Kaspi, explained the mission's breakthrough to understanding the asymmetry of the planet. Now, following the Juno gravity measurements, we know how deep the jets extend and what their structure is beneath the visible clouds.

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NASA'S Juno Mission employs JIRAM (Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper) to collect data in an infrared format. The polar regions are very different from the middle latitudes with their bands. In the northern pole, eight cyclones perimeter around the pole revolve around another cyclone, while in the south pole five such cyclones move around a sixth. Despite being packed close enough to touch one another, these cyclones didn't disrupt one another after seven months of observation.

Photo of cyclones on Jupiter from the Juno spacecraft.

Team leader Alberto Adriani of Italy's National Institute for Astrophysics in Rome was surprised to find such complex structures. "Each one of the northern cyclones is nearly as wide as the distance between Naples, Italy and New York City - and the southern ones are even larger than that". The wind speeds exceed Category 5 hurricane strength in places, reaching 350 kmph. Finally, and perhaps most remarkably, they are very close together and enduring.

We know that Jupiter is about 11 times bigger than Earth, yet its size doesn't slow its rotation; Jupiter has a rotation of 10 hours. We know with Cassini data that Saturn has a single cyclonic vortex at each pole.

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. "We were wrong about it", he said via email. 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.

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