What did Juno Uncover on Jupiter?

What did Juno Uncover on Jupiter?

What did Juno Uncover on Jupiter?

"Since Jupiter is basically a giant ball of gas, the initial expectation was that there would be no asymmetries in the gravity field between the north and south", Kaspi said.

One group uncovered a constellation of nine cyclones over Jupiter's north pole and six over the south pole.

NASA'S Juno Mission employs JIRAM (Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper) to collect data in an infrared format. 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 poles of Jupiter are an absolute contrast to the more familiar white and orange belts and zones that circle the gas giant at lower latitudes.

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Yohai Kaspi, co-author of the paper and a professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, who led the research said: "That is much more than anyone thought and more than what has been known from other planets in the Solar System".

As for Juno, NASA now has plans to continue using the spacecraft to reveal more of Jupiter's secrets through at least July 2018.

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. 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. "Juno is only about one third the way through its primary mission, and already we are seeing the beginnings of a new Jupiter".

Another of the studies in this week's Nature finds that Jupiter's crisscrossing east-west jet streams actually penetrate thousands of kilometres beneath the visible cloud tops. "Now, we have been able to observe the polar weather up-close every two months", said Alberto Adriani, Juno's co-investigator from the Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology, Rome, in the same statement.

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The gravity signature of the jet streams is bound with the gravity signal of Jupiter core. Another result shows that the planet rotates almost as a rigid body, with the weather layer beneath it.

"The very centre may contain a core made of high pressure and high-temperature rocks and perhaps water, but it is believed to be fluid as well, not solid", said planetary scientist Tristan Guillot of the Université Côte d'Azur in Nice, another of the research leaders.

The co-investigator also added that the remarkable feature about the cyclones is that they are enduring and very close together. Like a compact series of cogs in an unimaginably large machine, vast cyclones also swirl around the north and south poles, clocking wind speeds of over 220 miles per hour (350 kilometers per hour) - wind speeds that are the equivalent of a terrestrial Category 5 hurricane. A feature such as it is something that is like nothing else that has been observed so far in the solar system. And thanks to Juno and the information the spacecraft sends back to Earth through radiowaves, scientists are able to map Jupiter's gravitational field and compile more information about the inner-workings of the planet. Interestingly, even though the Cyclones are spaced tightly, they still remain distinct and have morphologies that are individual.

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