Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Is Hotter Than Entire Planet

Posted: Jul 28 2016, 5:52am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 28 2016, 6:20am CDT, in Latest Science News


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Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is Hotter Than Entire Planet
Artist’s concept of the heating mechanism from Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Credits: Art by Karen Teramura, UH IfA with James O’Donoghue and Luke Moore
  • Jupiter’s Great Red Spotis mysterious heat source behind planet’s surprisingly high upper atmosphere

It is being said that Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is also a source of heat. It is not just a different terrain of Jupiter but has its very own physical makeup.

The Great Red Spot of Jupiter is actually a high heat sink. The greatest temperatures on the planet were found to be within this stormy region. The Great Red Spot (GRS) is in actuality a humongous storm which is double the size of the earth.

It exists in the lowest layer of Jupiter’s surface. Almost 497 miles above the GRS, the temperatures were approximately 700 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the average norm.

This new study could help explain why the atmosphere of Jupiter contains such a lot of heat despite the solar source being far away. The atmospheric temperatures on Jupiter are 1700 degrees Fahrenheit.

The polar regions of Jupiter are warmed by auroras. Directly above the GRS though, the temperature is 2420 degrees Fahrenheit, according to NASA. Erstwhile studies wrongly concluded that the Jupiter must have a low temperature due to being so far away from the sun.

The latest evidence shows that gravity waves and acoustic waves are engendered by turbulence beneath the GRS. This is the main cause of the high heat levels in the atmosphere.

Atmospheric gravity waves are not to be confused with gravitational waves. They come into being when air pockets crash into hindrances such as mountains.

This is similar to when a pebble hits a pond’s surface leading to ripples that radiate outwards from one focal point. Acoustic waves are sound phenomena.

They come from compressions and refractions in the air. They rise in the atmosphere. These waves break in the same manner as the ocean’s waves. They thus release kinetic energy which warms up the surrounding temperature.

The transformations in density surrounding the GRS thus cause these waves to scatter in all directions. Basically, the GRS is a huge storm. It moves in a counterclockwise manner.

Scientists and astronomers measured the temperature around the GRS via various instruments and tools through rather indirect methods. The energy mechanics that lead to the heating effect are very complex.

Suffice it to say that instead of relying on a solar source alone, Jupiter depends on its GRS for this paradox of temperature increase. Such methods of maintaining heat may be extant on other planets including our own home planet, Earth.

This study got published in the July 27 issue of the journal Nature.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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