NASA's Juno Probe Peers Into Jupiter's Mysterious Atmosphere and Polar Regions

This composite image provided by NASA derived from data collected by the Jupiter-orbiting Juno spacecraft shows the central cyclone at the planet's north pole and the eight cyclones that encircle it. Wednesday

NASA launched the Juno mission on August 5, 2011 to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter, look for solid planetary core, map magnetic field, measure water and ammonia in deep atmosphere, and observe auroras.

On a gas planet, such an asymmetry can only come from flows deep within the planet; and on Jupiter, the visible eastward and westward jet streams are likewise asymmetric north and south.

Based on the asymmetry in the gravitational fields between north to south, the researchers determined that the wind belts - those stripes observed by Galileo - extend 3,000 km (almost 1,900 mi) deep. "Until now, we only had a superficial understanding of them and have been able to relate these stripes to cloud features along Jupiter's jets".

Scientists hope the ongoing mission's findings, which have been published in four papers in Nature, will improve understanding of Jupiter's interior structure, core mass and, eventually, its origin.

These pictures, which were taken on Jupiter's north and south poles, reveal the massive wind towers that dominate not only its upper atmosphere but also stretch deep into the planet.

Experts say technology could be making us worse drivers, researchers highlight the gender disparity in kidney donations, and the Juno orbiter captures clusters of cyclones on Jupiter. There has been disagreement over whether the planet's bands are a weather system, comparable to the Earth's jet streams, or whether they are an aspect of a deeper-seated convection system that transports energy out of the interior. 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 mission also found that the planet's interior rotates as a solid body, despite its fluid nature.

The cyclone-infested upper atmosphere of our solar system's biggest planet has been unveiled in intricate detail, with striking new images from NASA's Juno probe.

This artist’s rendering provided by NASA and JPL-Caltech shows the Juno spacecraft above the planet Jupiter
This artist’s rendering provided by NASA and JPL-Caltech shows the Juno spacecraft above the planet Jupiter

JIRAM probes the weather layer down to 50 to 70 kilometres below Jupiter's cloud tops. These atmospheric winds last longer than similar atmospheric processes found on Earth.

Before the Juno probe, there was no way to determine what lies beneath Jupiter's famous longitudinal bands. "The remarkable thing about this", says Dr. Galanti, "is that we were able to directly measure the signature of the flows themselves".

Morgan O'Neill, co-author of the cyclone paper and a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago, said: "They are extraordinarily stable arrangements of such chaotic elements. There is nothing else like it that we know of in the Solar System".

Last month, Nasa revealed that the great red spot over Jupiter, its defining feature, will most likely be gone in about a decade.

"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". At the north pole, eight storms surrounded one storm at the center.

Juno launched on August 5, 2011, and spent five years travelling to its destination.

They are about as wide as the distance between Naples and NY, noted lead author of the research Alberto Adriani, Juno co-investigator from the Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology, Rome.

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