Jupiter is being seen in a new 3D map recording details beneath its visible outer layer of clouds. The new observations are recorded in radio waves.

The Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array in New Mexico was utilized to image beneath the outer layer of the largest planet in the solar system. Astronomers were able to peer around 60 miles into the dense cloud layer, allowing the researchers to view movements of ammonia in the thick atmosphere.

"We in essence created a three-dimensional picture of ammonia gas in Jupiter's atmosphere, which reveals upward and downward motions within the turbulent atmosphere," said principal author Imke de Pater of the University of California, Berkeley.

Many wavelengths of radio waves are absorbed by the gases within the atmosphere of the gas giant. Investigators tuned the mighty ear on the sky to frequencies of radio waves able to travel through the gaseous material. By measuring the degree at which certain wavelengths are absorbed, astronomers were able to determine the concentration of ammonia within Jupiter's atmosphere.

This image, taken in radio waves, largely resembles photographs of Jupiter taken in visible light.

This new image shows ammonia-rich gas rising into the upper atmosphere of Jupiter, forming clouds of ammonia ice and ammonium hydrosulfide. Gases lacking ammonia fall down toward the center of the planet, in a manner similar to dry air falling toward the ground here on Earth.

Jupiter emits more heat than the planet receives from the sun. This additional energy flowing out of the body affects the circulation patterns, and alters the processes by which clouds form. Researchers hope this new study will help them learn more about the atmospheres of gas giants in our solar system, as well as around other stars.

This new study also reveals the presence of a belt of gas, largely lacking in ammonia, running just north of Jupiter's equator. Known as hot spots, regions of the atmosphere that glow brightly in radio waves form a chain that encircles the giant world.  

The Juno spacecraft, launched in 2010, is due to reach Jupiter in July 2016. Once it arrives, the vehicle will study the planet, looking for water as well as other components of the dense Jovian atmosphere.

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.