The mystery of Jupiter’s hurricanes was explained thanks to the physics of the oceans on Earth

Jupiter’s bustling atmosphere captured by NASA’s Juno mission (credit: NASA)

Was discovered by American scientists Giant hurricanes They occur at the poles of Jupiter The same forces that move water in the oceans of the earth.

To do so, they examined images produced by Juno, a NASA-funded satellite orbiting Jupiter and its 79 moons. His photos of the largest planet in the solar system acted as the best object Oceanographers on Earth to describe the fertile turbulence at Jupiter’s poles and the physical forces that drive large hurricanes.

The study was published Natural Physics And its lead author, Leah Siegelman, is a physics marine expert and postgraduate at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. Noticing this she decided to continue the investigation The hurricanes at Jupiter’s pole share a resemblance to the ocean vortices he studied during his doctorate.

Using this sequence of images and principles used in geophysical fluid dynamics, Siegelman and his colleagues provided evidence for a long-term hypothesis. Humid convection triggers these hurricanes when hot, low-density air rises.

“When I looked at the richness of the turbulence with all the little strands and vortices around Hurricane Jovian, it reminded me of the turbulence you see in the sea around the vortices.” Seagalman said. “For example, these are particularly evident in high-resolution satellite images of plankton flowers.”

According to Siegelman, understanding the energy system of Jupiter, which is much larger than Earth, will also help us to understand the physical mechanisms that operate on our own planet. Highlight some of the energy pathways that may exist on Earth as well.

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“It’s fascinating to explore a planet so far away and discover the physics used there,” he said. he said. “The question arises, are these processes valid for our own blue dot?”

Juno was the first spacecraft to photograph Jupiter’s poles; Earlier satellites orbited the planet’s equator. Provides views The most famous red dot on the planet.

The Juno is equipped with two camera systems, one for visible light imaging and the other for capturing thermal signatures using the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (GRAM), an instrument of the Juno spacecraft backed by the Italian space agency.

Left to right: A phytoplankton blooms in the Baltic Sea and turbulent clouds in Jupiter's atmosphere (NASA)
Left to right: A phytoplankton blooms in the Baltic Sea and turbulent clouds in Jupiter’s atmosphere (NASA)

Siegelman and his colleagues analyzed infrared images of Jupiter capturing the North Pole, particularly the polar spiral cluster. From the pictures, By following the motion of the clouds between the images, the researchers were able to calculate the speed and direction of the wind.. The panel then explained the infrared images based on the thickness of the clouds. The warmer regions resemble thin clouds where one can see deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere. The cold regions represent the dense layer of clouds that cover Jupiter’s atmosphere.

These findings gave researchers clues about the energy of the system. Researchers have found that Jovian clouds form when hot, low-density air rises. The wind, which rises rapidly into the clouds, acts as an energy source to fuel large scales ranging from large polar and circumferential hurricanes.

Photo of one of Jupiter's hurricanes
Photo of one of Jupiter’s hurricanes

Juno first came to the Jovian system in 2016, giving scientists a first-hand view of these large polar hurricanes with a circumference of about 1,000 kilometers.. Eight of these hurricanes occur at Jupiter’s North Pole and five at the South Pole. These storms came from first sight five years ago. Researchers do not know how they originated or how long they have been in circulation. But now they know that the wet heat is what keeps them going. Researchers first speculate about this energy transfer after observing lightning strikes on Jupiter’s storms.

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Juno will orbit Jupiter until 2025, making it available to researchers and the general public New images of the planet and its detailed lunar system.

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Eden Hayes

"Wannabe gamer. Subtly charming beer buff. General pop culture trailblazer. Incurable thinker. Certified analyst."

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