Jupiter has cyclones and also a much stronger magnetism than predicted by the models.
The planet Jupiter has cyclones and also stronger magnetism than predicted by models, according to two studies published this week in the science journal Science, based on data transmitted by the US spacecraft Juno.
The Juno spacecraft, which began its first trajectory around the largest planet in the solar system last year, has allowed scientists to look at Jupiter in another perspective on the extremely elliptical orbit of the gaseous giant. Launched in 2011, Juno passed through the planet’s poles and plunged into the zone of higher clouds, which will be composed of ammonia crystals.
Jupiter is a planet formed by layers of clouds grouped in specific zones and has a very intense magnetic field that almost reaches the orbit of Saturn.
On 27 August, the probe made its first approach to Jupiter, collecting data on its atmosphere (composed essentially of hydrogen and helium) as well as the interior of the planet. In one of the studies, the team of Juno mission principal investigator Scott Bolton presents the results of the probe flight in the highest cloud zone.
Images of Jupiter’s poles suggest that bright oval spots, some of them with a diameter greater than 1,400 kilometers, are cyclones, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the publisher of the journal Science, said in a statement. The probe further measured the thermal structure of the planet’s deep atmosphere as it passed over the zone of higher clouds. The data also indicate, according to the scientists, traces of ammonia that emanate from the deep atmosphere and form giant meteorological systems.
In a later study, there is also information about the auroras and the magnetosphere, (region where the planet’s magnetic field dominates the solar wind). Some gas analyzes of Jupiter’s magnetic field indicate that the magnetic field in the region closest to the planet is substantially stronger than what the models predicted, it is 10 times larger than the Earth’s magnetic field.