Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Jupiter's Great Red Spot Found to be 50 Times Deeper Than Earth's Ocean

Article Written By: Kyle Tam


GIF Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstadt/Justin Cowart
GIF Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstadt/Justin Cowart
 NASA's Juno spacecraft has recently beamed back new data on Jupiter's Great Red Spot that suggests that the storm's roots penetrate about 300 kilometres (200 miles) into the planet's atmosphere. This information is striking to scientists because the depth of the storm has been unknown for some time. Furthermore, due to the active shrinking of the storm since its conception, the Great Red Spot hasn't been a model of consistency.
 "Juno found that the Great Red Spot's roots go 50 to 100 times deeper than Earth's oceans and are warmer at the base than they are at the top," said Andy Ingersoll, a professor of planetary science at Caltech and a Juno co-investigator. "Winds are associated with differences in temperature, and the warmth of the spot's base explains the ferocious winds we see at the top of the atmosphere."
 In addition, Juno discovered two radiation bands around Jupiter. One lies above the equator of the planet's atmosphere and includes hydrogen, oxygen and sulfur ions moving at near light speed. The second band was found around the planet's high latitudes, an area never explored by another spacecraft.

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