Monstrous cyclones churning over Jupiter’s poles

“It’s very different, very complex,” Juno’s chief scientist Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute said Thursday.

With tens of cyclones, hundreds of kilometers in diameter – alongside unidentifiable weather systems that extend for thousands of miles – the poles are like the equatorial region of Jupiter, immediately recognizable by its stripes and great red stain, full of thrill of emotion .

“This is the Jupiter we all know and grow to love,” Bolton said. “And when you look at the post, it looks totally different … I do not think anyone would have imagined this to be Jupiter.”

He calls the first major results – published on Thursday – “tears the Earth.” Or should I say, Jupiter-demolisher. ”

Turning counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere, as on Earth, hurricanes are carefully grouped near the poles. The diameters of some of these cyclones confirmed extended to 1700 miles (2800 km). Even larger, though basic, meteorological systems are present in both polar regions. Meanwhile, the two poles are really alike, which is confusing, according to Bolton.

Scientists are eager to see, over time, whether these super-hurricanes are stable or dynamic. “Are they going to continue that way for years and years like the big red stain … Of course, only time will tell,” Bolton said.

Equally interesting is how quickly these super cyclones move.

Launched in 2011 and orbiting Jupiter from last summer, Juno offers the best views of directing the largest planet in our solar system, looking under the clouds for a true portrait. He made five narrow steps on Jupiter until the time of the gathering of science, most recent last week; They occur every two months in view of the extremely elongated orbit of Juno. The next one will be in July, with researchers targeting the Great Red Spot.

Juno moves so fast during these chummy gatherings that it only takes two hours to get from the north pole to the south.

In addition to the polar cyclones, Juno spotted white lids in Jupiter – pieces of frozen ammonia and water. Bolton refers to them as Jupiter’s snowfall – or perhaps smallpox.

Juno also detected an abundant amount of deep ammonia in Jupiter’s atmosphere and a surprisingly strong magnetic field in places – about 10 times larger than Earth. It also led to the belief that Jupiter may have a large fuzzy nucleus – like the Bolton – but partially dissolved.

Then there are the strange sounds of plasma waves in Jupiter – “the music of nature,” Bolton said. During the teleconference, he played two minutes of recording the spacecraft in February, adjusted by the human ear and full of percussion sounds and beeps and skeletal screams and even notes flutes.

The results were published in Geophysical Research Letters Science and.

The poles of Jupiter look radically different neighbor Saturn, scientists, nothing like the hexagonal cloud system in the north pole of Saturn.

The researchers hope to be able to compare observations with those of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft Cassini in its final months in orbit around Saturn.

The results of Juno’s “will really force us to rethink not only how Jupiter, but how we are exploring Saturn, Uranus and Neptune,” Bolton said.

Monstrous cyclones churning over Jupiter’s poles

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