Juno probe provides first 3D view of Jupiter’s atmosphere

NASA’s Juno probe provided better insight into Jupiter’s atmosphere. Researchers have produced the first 3D view of Jupiter’s atmospheric layers, showing how its turbulent clouds and storms work in more detail than ever before. In particular, the behavior of cyclones and anticyclones is clearer. They are much larger than expected, with the Great Red Spot (a high pressure system) 200 miles deep. They are either hotter or cooler at the top depending on their rotation as well.

Juno helped fill in the data using a microwave radiometer that provided insight beneath cloud surfaces. For the Great Red Spot, the team supplemented the radiometer data with the gravity signatures of two close passes. Information from the radiometer also showed Earth-like circulation cells in the northern and southern hemispheres, not to mention changes in microwave light similar to those in the ocean.

There are still some mysteries, such as the atmospheric mass of the Great Red Spot. That said, 3D imagery is already producing a more consistent picture of the behavior of Jovian planets like Jupiter. It might not take much more effort to solve more Jupiter mysteries.

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