NASA's Juno Spacecraft Captures Storms As Large As United States On Jupiter's Surface

The study also stated that the Juno spacecraft has observed cyclones at the north pole of Jupiter ever since 2017.

By Anushka Vats
Updated: Fri, 23 Sep 2022 04:15 PM IST
Minute Read
NASA's Juno Spacecraft Captures Storms As Large As United States On Jupiter's Surface
Image Source: Twitter/@NatureAstronomy

SCIENTISTS have always been fascinated by the activities that take place on the surface of Jupiter. Recently, a group of scientists has discovered strange storms that encircle Jupiter's north pole, as per a report in Vice News.

The report also mentioned that these storms are as big as the United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Juno mission discovered the hurricane-force storms and captured rare observations of Jupiter since it reached orbit around the planet in 2016.

Meanwhile, a group of scientists led by Andrew Ingersoll of the California Institute of Technology, mentioned that an “anticyclonic ring” of winds that blow in the opposite direction of the cyclones “is needed for the stability of the polygonal pattern,” though the team noted that other questions about the storms remain, as per a study published on Thursday in Nature Astronomy.

The study also stated that the Juno spacecraft has observed cyclones at the north pole of Jupiter ever since 2017.

However, it also mentioned that scientists are still unable to answer questions about the storms on Jupiter.

"Since 2017 the Juno spacecraft has observed a cyclone at the north pole of Jupiter surrounded by eight smaller cyclones arranged in a polygonal pattern. It is not clear why this configuration is so stable or how it is maintained," said the researchers in the study published by Nature Astronomy.

"We find an anticyclonic ring between the polar cyclone and the surrounding cyclones, supporting the theory that such shielding is needed for the stability of the polygonal pattern. However, even at the smallest spatial scale (180 km) we do not find the expected signature of convection—a spatial correlation between divergence and anticyclonic vorticity—in contrast with a previous study using additional assumptions about the dynamics, which shows the correlation at scales from 20 to 200 km," the team added.

"We suggest that a smaller size, relative to atmospheric thickness, of Jupiter’s convective storms compared with Earth’s, can reconcile the two studies," the study concluded.

Meanwhile, the study is based on the pictures captured by Juno's Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument.

Nature Astronomy also posted the picture on its official Twitter handle and wrote, "An anticyclonic ring acts as a buffer between the central cyclone and the surrounding cluster at Jupiter's north pole. However, no trace of convection is observed even at the smallest scales (180km) of the NASA Juno images."

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.