The Interiors of Jupiter and Saturn
Much to everyone's surprise, there was an astonishing lack of water. As it turns out, the Galileo probe may not have detected water simply because it was dropped in the wrong place. It's as if the probe parachuted over a desert on Earth.
It's not that there's no water on our planet, it's just that deserts aren't known for being awash with the stuff. Jupiter's atmosphere is dynamic , with jet streams, storms and a nonhomogeneous composition; the probe could only sample the atmosphere it was traveling through in that one location — and that location might've been as dry as a desert.
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The situation changed, however, when researchers used the powerful W. They released their water-filled news in an August study published in the Astrophysical Journal and led by astrophysicist Gordon L. To investigate, Bjoraker's team measured the infrared radiation leaking from deep beneath the clouds. Specifically they studied the infrared absorption spectrum of a certain type of methane that's known to exist in a vapor throughout the planet.
How much water is inside Jupiter? Juno spacecraft is about to find out
This infrared radiation should leak through the clouds unimpeded, but should any clouds be present, this radiation will be blocked. During analysis of observations from Jupiter's Great Red Spot, the researchers found three distinct cloud layers were blocking this infrared signal from passing through the atmosphere, agreeing with theoretical predictions for the presence of water-rich clouds.
They also detected large quantities of carbon monoxide, suggesting there's a lot of oxygen O available in Jupiter's atmosphere to chemically bond to molecular hydrogen H2 to form water H2O if the temperature and pressure is just right. The next step is to use these data to complement Juno's observations of Jupiter. The spacecraft can make spectroscopic observations even deeper into Jupiter's atmosphere and it will do so for the entire planet, not just the Great Red Spot.
Many of the storms on Jupiter take place inside those belts. They can be compared to thunderstorms on Earth and are often associated with lightning events.
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Storms reveal themselves in visible light as small bright clouds, referred to as plumes. These plume eruptions can cause a major disruption of the belt, which can be visible for months or years.
Orbit & rotation
A small bright white plume was visible first and then a large-scale disruption in the belt was observed that lasted for weeks after the eruption. De Pater and her colleagues used ALMA to study the atmosphere below the plume and the disrupted belt at radio wavelengths and compared these to UV-visible light and infrared images made with other telescopes at approximately the same time.
This led us to confirm the current theory that energetic plumes are triggered by moist convection at the base of water clouds, which are located deep in the atmosphere. The plumes bring up ammonia gas from deep in the atmosphere to high altitudes, well above the main ammonia cloud deck," she added.
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