Do you want to see the first 3D view of Jupiter’s atmosphere?
New findings from NASA’s Juno probe orbiting Jupiter provide a fuller picture of how the planet’s distinctive and colorful atmospheric features offer clues about the unseen processes below its clouds. The results highlight the inner workings of the belts and zones of clouds encircling Jupiter and its polar cyclones and even the Great Red Spot.
Researchers published several papers on Juno’s atmospheric discoveries today in Science and the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. Additional pieces appeared in two recent issues of Geophysical Research Letters.
“These new observations from Juno open up a treasure chest of new information about Jupiter’s enigmatic observable features,” said Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “Each paper sheds light on different aspects of the planet’s atmospheric processes – a wonderful example of how our internationally-diverse science teams strengthen understanding of our solar system.”
Juno entered Jupiter’s orbit in 2016. During each of the spacecraft’s 37 passes of the planet to date, a specialized suite of instruments has peered below its turbulent cloud deck.
The first 3D view of Jupiter’s atmosphere: JUNO
NASA’s Juno probe has provided a better, more profound look at Jupiter’s atmosphere. Researchers have produced the first 3D view of Jupiter’s atmospheric layers, illustrating how its turbulent clouds and storms work in greater detail than before. Most notably, it’s clearer how cyclones and anticyclones behave. They’re much taller than expected, with the Great Red Spot (an anticyclone) running 200 miles deep. They’re either warmer or colder at the top, depending on their spin, too.
Juno helped fill out the data using a microwave radiometer to peek below the clouds’ surfaces. The team complemented the radiometer data with the gravity signatures from two close passes for the Great Red Spot. The radiometer info also showed Earth-like circulation cells in northern and southern hemispheres, not to mention ocean-like changes in microwave light.
There are still mysteries left, such as the atmospheric mass of the Great Red Spot. With that said, the 3D imagery is already producing a more cohesive picture of how jovian planets like Jupiter behave. So it might not take much more effort to solve more of Jupiter’s mysteries.
Junho went into Jupiter’s orbit in 2016. A suite of special equipment looked under the turbulent cloud deck during each of the spacecraft’s 37 planetary passages to date.
Scott Bolton, Principal Investigator at Junho’s Southwest Institute in San Antonio and lead author of a journal science paper on the depth of Jupiter’s vortex, said:
“Now we are beginning to put together all these individual parts and, for the first time in 3D, actually understand how the beautiful and violent atmosphere of Jupiter works.”
Juno’s Microwave Radiometer (MWR) allows mission scientists to look under Jupiter’s cloud tops and examine the structure of its numerous vortex storms. The most famous of these storms is the iconic anticyclone known as the Great Red Spot.
This crimson vortex has fascinated scientists more comprehensively than the Earth since its discovery almost two centuries ago.
New results show that cyclones are warm at the top and have low atmospheric densities and cold and dense at the bottom. In addition, anticyclones that rotate in the opposite direction have a stiff upper part and a warmer lower part.
The findings also show that these storms are much higher than expected, with some extending 60 miles (100 km) below the cloud top and more than 200 miles (350 km), including the Great Red Spot. Is shown.
This surprising finding shows that the vortices cover areas below the depth at which sunlight warms the atmosphere, beyond where water condenses and forms clouds.
The height and size of the Great Red Spot mean that instruments that study Jupiter’s gravitational field can potentially detect atmospheric mass concentration in storms.
Two nearby Juno flybys at Jupiter’s most famous locations provided the opportunity to search for storm gravity features and complement MWR results at that depth.
Juno moves low on the deck of Jupiter’s clouds at about 130,000 mph (209,000 kph); Juno scientists use NASA’s Deep Space Network tracking antenna to over 400 million miles (650). We were able to measure small velocity changes of 0.01 millimeters per second from a distance. A million kilometers).
This allowed the team to limit the depth of the Great Red Spot to about 300 miles (500 km) below the cloud top.
“The accuracy required to obtain the gravity of the Great Red Spot during a July 2019 flyby is staggering,” said Juno scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in South California, flying over gravity in Journal Science. Marzia Parisi, the lead author of the paper on. Great Red Spot. “Being able to complement MWR’s findings on depth gives us great confidence that future gravity experiments on Jupiter will yield equally interesting results.”
Belts and zones
In addition to cyclones and anticyclones, Jupiter is known for its unique bands and bands, the white and reddish cloud bands surrounding the planet. A strong east-west wind moving in the opposite direction separates the band.
Juno has previously discovered that these winds or jet streams reach a depth of about 2,000 miles (about 3,200 kilometers).
Researchers are trying to solve the mystery of how a jet stream is formed. The data collected by Juno’s MWR between multiple paths reveals one possible clue. The ammonia gas in the atmosphere moves up and down in a marked alignment with the observed jet stream.
Keren Duer, a graduate student at the Weizmann Institute of Science, said: A faculty of science in Israel and the lead author of a journal science paper on Jupiter’s ferrel-like cells.
“Earth has one Ferrel cell per hemisphere, but Jupiter has eight, each at least 30 times larger.”
Juno’s MWR data shows that belts and zones transition about 40 miles (65 km) under Jupiter’s water clouds. At shallow depths, Jupiter’s band is brighter with microwave light than adjacent zones.
But at deeper levels below the water clouds, the opposite is true. This shows the similarity to our ocean.
Lee Fletcher, a Junho participating scientist at the university, said: The University of Leicester, UK, and the lead author of the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets paper, focuses on microwave observations by Juno of Jupiter’s thermoclines and zones.
The Bottom Line
In particular, it is clear how to act Tornado And anticyclones; it is much longer than expected, as the Great Red Spot (Anticyclone) extends.
At 200 miles deep, it is also warmer or colder at the top, depending on its rotation.
Assist Juno By compiling the data with a microwave radiometer that provided a peek beneath the Great Red Spot’s cloud surfaces. The team integrated the radiometer data with the gravitational signatures of two close passes. also spin-like cells
Earth in the northern and southern hemispheres, not to mention ocean-like changes in microwave light.
Mysteries remain, such as the air mass of the Great Red Spot. Still, the images are Three-dimensional. Already producing a more coherent picture of how famous planets like Jupiter behave, it may not take much effort to solve other Jupiter mysteries.