NASA’s Juno probe gave better and deeper insight into Jupiter’s atmosphere. Researchers have produced the first 3D view of Jupiter’s atmospheric layers, illustrating in greater detail than before how its turbulent clouds and storms work. Most importantly, it is clearer how cyclones and anticyclones behave. They are much larger than expected, with the Great Red Spot (an anticyclone) being 200 miles deep. Depending on the spin, they are either warmer or colder at the top.
Juno helped fill in the data with a microwave radiometer that allowed a look below the cloud surface. For the Great Red Spot, the team supplemented the radiometer data with the gravity signatures from two nearby passes. The radiometer info also showed Earth-like circulation cells in the northern and southern hemispheres, not to mention oceanic changes in microwave light.
There are still secrets like the atmospheric mass of the Great Red Spot. With this in mind, the 3D images already create a more coherent picture of how jovian planets like Jupiter behave. It couldn’t take much more effort to solve more of Jupiter’s mysteries.
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