scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Wednesday, July 06, 2022

NASA’s Juno probe finds Earth-sized storms over Jupiter poles

First science results from NASA's Jupiter mission Juno have found densely clustered Earth-sized swirling storms on the planet

By: IANS | Washington |
Updated: May 26, 2017 1:24:02 pm
NASA, NASA Juno, Juno, Jupiter mission, storms on Jupiter, Jupiter space mission, Nasa Jupiter mission, research on Jupiter, science, science news The magnetic field on Jupiter greatly exceeded expectations at 7.766 Gauss, about 10 times stronger than the strongest magnetic field found on Earth. (Source: NASA)

Jupiter’s poles are covered in Earth-sized swirling storms that are densely clustered and rubbing together, reveals first science results from NASA’s Juno mission to the largest planet in our solar system. The results also showed that Jupiter’s magnetic field is even stronger than models expected, and more irregular in shape.

“We’re puzzled as to how they could be formed, how stable the configuration is, and why Jupiter’s north pole doesn’t look like the south pole,” said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

Measurements of the massive planet’s magnetosphere, from Juno’s magnetometer investigation (MAG) indicates the magnetic field greatly exceeded expectations at 7.766 Gauss, about 10 times stronger than the strongest magnetic field found on Earth.

“Juno is giving us a view of the magnetic field close to Jupiter that we’ve never had before,” said Jack Connerney, Juno deputy principal investigator and the lead for the mission’s magnetic field investigation at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Best of Express Premium
UPSC Key-July 6, 2022: Why to read ‘Social Media Intermediaries’ or ‘Hybr...Premium
Apolitical or adversely political: the debate surrounding the partisan na...Premium
As one branch shrivels, the Thackeray tree sees another son bloom: Amit, ...Premium
Funding winter sets in for Indian startups, staff out in the cold: Over 1...Premium
NASA, NASA Juno, Juno, Jupiter mission, storms on Jupiter, Jupiter space mission, Nasa Jupiter mission, research on Jupiter These auroral emissions are caused by particles that pick up energy, slamming into atmospheric molecules. (Source: NASA)

Launched on August 5, 2011, Juno entering Jupiter’s orbit on July 4, 2016. The findings from the first data-collection pass, which flew within about 4,200 kilometres of Jupiter’s swirling cloud tops on August 27, were published in the journal Science.

Juno also is designed to study the polar magnetosphere and the origin of Jupiter’s powerful auroras – its northern and southern lights. These auroral emissions are caused by particles that pick up energy, slamming into atmospheric molecules. Juno’s initial observations indicate that the process seems to work differently at Jupiter than at Earth.

“We are excited to share these early discoveries, which help us better understand what makes Jupiter so fascinating,” said Diane Brown, Juno programme executive at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “It was a long trip to get to Jupiter, but these first results already demonstrate it was well worth the journey,” Brown said.

Juno is in a polar orbit around Jupiter, and the majority of each orbit is spent well away from the gas giant. But, once every 53 days, its trajectory approaches Jupiter from above its north pole, where it begins a two-hour transit (from pole to pole) flying north to south with its eight science instruments collecting data and its JunoCam public outreach camera snapping pictures.

“On our next flyby on July 11, we will fly directly over one of the most iconic features in the entire solar system – one that every school kid knows – Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. If anybody is going to get to the bottom of what is going on below those mammoth swirling crimson cloud tops, it’s Juno and her cloud-piercing science instruments,” Bolton said.

Express Explained Go beyond the news. Understand the headlines with our Explained stories

📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates

For all the latest Technology News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement