Scientists Solve The Mystery Of Jupiter’s Colored Bands

Posted: Aug 12 2018, 8:06am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 12 2018, 8:09am CDT, in Latest Science News


This story may contain affiliate links.

Scientists Solve the Mystery of Jupiter’s Colored Bands
Colorful swirling cloud belts in Jupiter's atmosphere. Credit: NASA

Until now, very little is known about the region below Jupiter's clouds

Spreading through high above Jupiter’s atmosphere are strong jet streams that flow west to East. The region appears chaotic and complex, given the swirling cloud formations. These clouds are likely made of ammonia and carried along by jet streams to form Jupiter's colored bands with white, red, orange, brown and yellow hue.

Jupiter’s colored bands are clearly visible to the ground-and space-based telescope. But much less was known about the region beneath it – until now.

"We know a lot about the jet streams in Earth's atmosphere and the key role they play in the weather and climate, but we still have a lot to learn about Jupiter's atmosphere," said researcher Dr Navid Constantinou from Australian National University.

“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."

Recent data collected by NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter indicate that jet streams reach as deep as 3,000 kilometers below Jupiter's clouds and they are likely suppressed by strong magnetic field.

Jupiter has the most intense planetary magnetic field in the solar system. Precisely, Jupiter's magnetic field is 10,000 time stronger than that of Earth. On Earth, jet streams are wavy and irregular but they are much straighter on Jupiter. Although similar jet streams have also been identified on Saturn, the feature in Jupiter atmosphere is unlike anything else seen in our solar system. It could improve understanding of Jupiter’s interior structure and eventually, its origin.

"There are no continents and mountains below Jupiter's atmosphere to obstruct the path of the jet streams," said co-researcher Dr Jeffrey Parker from Livermore National Laboratory.

"This makes the jet streams on Jupiter simpler. 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."

This story may contain affiliate links.


Find rare products online! Get the free Tracker App now.

Download the free Tracker app now to get in-stock alerts on Pomsies, Oculus Go, SNES Classic and more.

Latest News


The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




comments powered by Disqus