NASA Juno finds Jupiter's Jet-Streams Are Unearthly


Jupiter is covered in violent, powerful winds that last hundreds of years

The wind speeds exceed Category 5 hurricane strength in places, reaching 350 kmph.

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.

Almost all the polar cyclones, at both the north and south pole of Jupiter, are so tightly packed that their spiral arms are in contact with the cyclone located just next to them.

The co-investigator also added that the remarkable feature about the cyclones is that they are enduring and very close together. Juno's Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument can measure the planet's heat percolating through the atmosphere, probing the weather systems up to 45 miles (72 kilometers) below, day or night.

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

The Juno spacecraft, sent by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) over the solar system's gas planet Jupiter, has revealed atmospheric winds on the planet, thus completely changing the perspective of it.

Adriani has questioned why the Cyclones do not merge, especially since in the case of Saturn, Cassini has observed that each pole has just one cyclonic vortex.

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More data needs to be analysed in order to fully understand what is going on beneath Jupiter's atmosphere and Kaspi and fellow co-workers are hoping that by studying some of Jupiter's other iconic features, such as the Great Red Spot, with the same methods they developed to characterise the jet-streams, they can understand how deep this giant storm extends as well.

And there's more. Another study using data from Juno's gravity measurements reveals that Jupiter's counterrotating stripes are a two-dimensional representation of a vast three-dimensional jet stream structure deep inside the planet, and these jets are deeply embedded within the planet's powerful gravitational field.

The depth of the Jupiter's zones and belts has been a mystery for the scientists at NASA since decades.

A truly striking result released in the Nature papers is the handsome new imagery of Jupiter's poles captured by Juno's Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument.

With these discoveries came the realization that Jupiter's weather systems extend far deeper than thought possible. 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). Jupiter's atmosphere takes up 1 per cent of its total mass - it might sound like a small proportion, but its huge compared to the Earth's atmosphere which is only a millionth of its total mass.

The mission also found that the planet's interior rotates as a solid body, despite its fluid nature. 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.

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