NASA’s Juno probe has acquired new images of Jupiter, which will help create a more complete picture of the processes within its atmosphere.
The Juno probe entered orbit back in 2016, and all this time studied the atmosphere of Jupiter and other external features of the planet.
In particular, scientists were attracted by the Great Red Spot – this is a powerful permanent storm that can swallow the entire Earth. It was previously unknown whether it is confined to the upper atmosphere or extends further inland.
New work confirms that Jupiter’s cyclones are getting hotter in the upper atmosphere, where the density is lower, and lower temperatures are observed below, in areas of higher density. Anticyclones that rotate in the opposite direction are colder at the top, but warmer at the bottom.
It also turned out that these storms are much higher than scientists expected – some of them can be hundreds of kilometers long, while others, such as the Great Red Spot, extend over 350 km.
Astronomers noted that this discovery was unexpected, since it turned out that the vortices are not only in areas where water condenses and clouds form, but also below the depth where sunlight can heat the atmosphere.