The Juno probe provides the first 3D image of Jupiter’s atmosphere

NASA’s Juno probe has provided a better, deeper look at Jupiter’s atmosphere. Scientists have produced the first 3D display of Jupiter’s atmospheric layers, illustrating how its turbulent clouds and storms work in more detail than before. Most notably, it is clearer how cyclones and anticyclones behave. They are much higher than expected and the large red spot (an anticyclone) runs 200 miles deep. They are either hotter or colder at the top depending on their spin, too.

Juno helped fill in the data using a microwave radiometer that provided a look beneath the clouds’ surfaces. For the big red spot, the team supplemented the radiometer data with the gravity signatures from two close passes. The radiometer information also showed earth-like circulation cells in the northern and southern hemispheres, not to mention ocean-like changes in microwave light.

There are still mysteries left, such as the atmospheric mass of the Great Red Spot. That said, the 3D images already produce a more coherent picture of how Jovian planets like Jupiter behave. It may not take much more effort to solve more of Jupiter’s mysteries.

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