Scientists are trying to understand how these phenomena at the north pole of the gas giant take on their shape and color.
< p>The Juno spacecraft has completed its 43rd flyby of Jupiter and, using the JunoCam instrument, has been able to capture amazing atmospheric storms – hurricane-like spiral winds near Jupiter's north pole. And now scientists are trying to understand what causes these atmospheric storms to take on such a shape and color, according to Space.
Scientists believe that understanding how these powerful atmospheric storms form is the key to understanding what happens in Jupiter's atmosphere. Also in this way, you can understand how clouds move and get new information about their chemical composition, which is the reason for the appearance of these and other atmospheric phenomena on the planet.
Scientists focused on studying the shape, size and color of atmospheric vortices. For example, storms that rotate counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere, and storms that rotate clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere, have very different colors and shapes from each other.
New images of Jupiter were taken by the Juno spacecraft during another close flyby of the planet from a distance of 25,100 meters. The storms seen in the pictures go 50 km deep into the atmosphere, and are several hundred kilometers wide.
The Juno spacecraft went to Jupiter in 2011, and already in 2016 it began taking the first pictures of the gas giant. The spacecraft has already made 43 full orbits of the planet, and each flyby takes 43 days. The device has the ability to fly up to the planet at 5 thousand kilometers, which is considered a very close distance. For example, the distance from Kyiv to Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is just over 4,000 kilometers.
The Juno spacecraft was supposed to complete its work in space in 2021, but NASA decided to extend its service life until 2025 due to its high efficiency. For the next three years, the device will explore both the atmosphere of Jupiter and will pay attention to its satellites – Ganymede, Europa and Io.
As Focus already wrote, NASA plans to send its new Europa Clipper spacecraft to Io. Scientists believe that there may be microbial life on the icy moon of Jupiter and the device should find out if this is really the case. The launch of the new device is scheduled for 2024.
By the way, Jupiter has rings, like Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. It's just that they are not as pronounced and dense as, for example, Saturn. Focus already wrote that scientists have found out why Jupiter does not have the same set of rings as its neighboring planet.