The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has shared new findings about the planet Jupiter that have been made possible thanks to the Juno spacecraft.
These findings involve Jupiter's atmosphere, including its belts and zones, as well as the Great Red Spot. Researchers have published their papers regarding these findings in different scientific journals.
The Juno spacecraft is a NASA probe that was launched to space in 2011. It arrived in Jupiter in 2016. Ten years since its launch, the spacecraft remains in good health and is currently on an extended mission that is expected to end in 2025.
NASA Shares Juno's Findings on the Great Red Spot
Jupiter's Great Red Spot is over 200 miles (350 km) deep, and its polar cyclones barely change location over time. New findings from our #JunoMission give a fuller picture of the planet's turbulent atmosphere: https://t.co/tZX2MsKFLl pic.twitter.com/rRO1m01gUg— NASA (@NASA) October 28, 2021
NASA has shared new findings that have been made about Jupiter with the help of the Juno spacecraft.
According to a post on the NASA website, "New findings from NASA's Juno probe orbiting Jupiter provide a fuller picture of how the planet's distinctive and colorful atmospheric features offer clues about the unseen processes below its clouds."
Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, said that researchers are "getting our first real understanding of how Jupiter's beautiful and violent atmosphere works - in 3D" thanks to the spacecraft.
Specifically, Juno's microwave radiometer (MWR) has helped researchers discover new findings. Some of these findings actually involve Jupiter's Great Red Spot.
The Great Red Spot is actually a high-pressure region in the planet's atmosphere. According to NASA, the new findings have given researchers more details about the cyclones and anticyclones in the region. Cyclones, per NASA, are warmer on top and colder at the bottom. The reverse is true for anticyclones.
Researchers have also discovered that the cyclones "are far taller than expected." The Great Red Spot, for example, extends over 200 miles below the cloud tops of Jupiter.
Related Article: Jupiter's Great Red Spot Will Disappear In 10 Years
Jupiter's Belts and Zones
Certain new findings have also been made regarding the planet's belts and zones, which NASA defines as "white and reddish bands of clouds that wrap around the planet."
According to NASA, the MWR data of the Juno spacecraft has shown that Jupiter's belts and zones transition 40 miles beneath the water clouds. The belt looks brighter in microwave light when at shallow depths, but the opposite happens at deeper levels.
The Juno Spacecraft
NASA's Juno spacecraft is a space probe that is currently orbiting the planet Jupiter. It was launched on August 5, 2011. According to a report by Space, the spacecraft arrived in Jupiter five years later.
The spacecraft is currently on an extended mission and is celebrating the tenth anniversary since its launch. However, there is a possibility that Juno might not survive all the way to the end of its mission due to Jupiter's radiation environment.
The Juno spacecraft's extended mission is set to end in 2025.
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Written by Isabella James