Like 10 Earth diameters. Scientists have discovered a giant heat wave in the atmosphere of Jupiter (photo)
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The temperature of this heat wave reaches 700 degrees Celsius, and it extends for 130 thousand km, which is approximately 10 diameters of the Earth.
Scientists have discovered a spectacular heat wave just below the aurora borealis on Jupiter and found that it is moving towards the equator at a speed of thousands of kilometers per hour, writes SciTechDaily.
Jupiter is known for its multi-colored vortices in the atmosphere, which are visible on many pictures of the planet. But Jupiter's upper atmosphere is extremely hot. Although Jupiter is much farther from the Sun than the Earth (from Jupiter to the Sun – 778 million km, and from the Earth to the Sun – 150 million km) and the temperature in the atmosphere should be at least -70 degrees Celsius, but here the temperature is more than 400 degrees Celsius.
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“Our study shows that auroras on this gas giant can be a possible source of heating of Jupiter's upper atmosphere,” says James O'Donoghue of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
On Jupiter, as on Earth, auroras appear as a result of the interaction of the atmosphere with the solar wind (a stream of charged solar particles). But the auroras on the gas giant are permanent and change only in their intensity. On Earth, aurorae only occur when exposed to very strong solar radiation.
According to O'Donoghue, he and his colleagues found that aurorae on Jupiter can heat the region of the atmosphere around the poles to more than 700 degrees Celsius, and the wind distributes this heat throughout the planet.
In particular, scientists have detected a heat wave directly under the aurora borealis on Jupiter and believe that it is moving to the equator at a speed of thousands of kilometers per hour. And its size is 130 thousand km, which is equivalent to about 10 diameters of the Earth.
Scientists believe that this heat wave most likely arose due to the strong influence of plasma from the solar wind. As a result, the upper atmosphere at the north pole of Jupiter was heated and the hot gases moved closer to the equator.
“Auroras already send heat to the rest of the planet, but this heat wave is an additional source of heating,” says O'Donoghue.
Focus already wrote that at the end of September this year, Jupiter made its closest approach to Earth for the first time in almost 60 years.
As already wrote Focus, recently the Juno spacecraft sent back unique images of the surface of one of the main moons of Jupiter.