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Technology Mystery of Jupiter’s Colored Bands Solved

08:15  11 august  2018
08:15  11 august  2018 Source:   usnews.com

NASA gives Jupiter the Van Gogh treatment with magnificent new image

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Scientists may have finally solved a long-standing mystery related to Jupiter ’ s dramatic colored bands , according to a study published in the Astrophysical Journal. A team from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Australian National University (ANU)

Until now, the academic community had debated how deep the colourful bands of ammonia in Jupiter ' s outer atmosphere really went. Scientists may have solved the mystery of Jupiter ' s colourful bands .

This true-color simulated view of Jupiter is composed of 4 images taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on December 7, 2000.: Scientists believe they may have solved the mystery behind Jupiter's distinctive colored bands. © (Universal History Archive/UIG/Getty Images) Scientists believe they may have solved the mystery behind Jupiter's distinctive colored bands.

Scientists believe they may have solved the mystery behind Jupiter's distinctive colored bands and why they behave the way they do.

Thanks to measurements taken by Juno, the NASA probe that arrived at Jupiter in July 2016, scientists discovered that the colorful bands of ammonia clouds visible even from modest telescopes on Earth actually only go approximately 3,000 kilometers – about 5 percent of Jupiter's radius at the equator– then terminate abruptly.

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The mystery underlying Jupiter ' s characteristic coloured bands has been solved thanks to data from Nasa's probe orbiting around the gas giant. Several strong jet streams flow west to east in Jupiter ' s atmosphere, which are similar to Earth's jet streams.

Scientists from Australia and the United States have helped to solve the mystery underlying Jupiter ' s coloured bands in a new study on the interaction between atmospheres and magnetic fields.

"Scientists have long debated how deep the jet streams reach beneath the surfaces of Jupiter and other gas giants, and why they do not appear in the sun's interior," lead researcher Navid Constantinou of the Australian National University told News Corp Australia.

In new research published in The Astrophysical Journal on Thursday, Constantinou and his research partner, Jeffrey Parker, of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in San Diego, put forward a new theory that explains why that might be.

"Scientists understand that at about 3,000 km below Jupiter's clouds, the pressure is so high that electrons can get loose from the molecules of hydrogen and helium and start to move around freely, creating electric and magnetic fields," Constantinou explains in The Conversation.

NASA releases 'turbulent' photo of Jupiter's clouds

  NASA releases 'turbulent' photo of Jupiter's clouds NASA released an image taken by the Juno spacecraft of Jupiter, featuring swirling cloud belts on the giant planet's northern hemisphere.The image captures Jupiter's "chaotic and turbulent" clouds, with swirling formations and several vortices in the giant planet's northern hemisphere.

Commenting on the results, Parker pointed out that the stunning cloud bands of Jupiter — which showcase a multitude of colors , from red to orange, brown, yellow, and white — can help us learn more about atmospheric flows. “By studying Jupiter , not only do we unravel the mysteries in the interior of

Similar to Earth's jet stream, which plays a key role in the weather and climate systems, several strong jet streams flow west to east in Jupiter ' s atmosphere and carry along clouds of ammonia to form the coloured bands in shades of white, red, orange, brown and yellow.

Constantinou and Parker designed a mathematical model that can predict the point at which the magnetic field is strong enough to shut down the jet streams.

Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, is gaseous and is primarily composed of hydrogen and helium.

Earth also has jet streams that shape the planet's weather, but unlike Jupiter's simpler patterns, continents and mountains slow and obstruct jet streams' path.

Researchers hope Jupiter can help reveal more about climate on Earth.

"By studying Jupiter, not only do we unravel the mysteries in the interior of the gas giant, but we can also use Jupiter as a laboratory for studying how atmospheric flows work in general," Parker said.

Copyright 2017 U.S. News & World Report

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