A 40-year study reveals something strange is happening in Jupiter’s atmosphere

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Cairo – Samia Sayed – A new study revealed that something strange is happening in the atmosphere of Jupiter, according to the Space report.

Forty years of measurements of Jupiter’s atmosphere by spacecraft and ground-based telescopes have revealed strange weather patterns on the largest planet in the solar system, including hot and cold periods during its long year (equivalent to 12 Earth years), but Jupiter does not go through changes. seasonal like the earth.

On Earth, weather transitions between winter, spring, summer, and fall are the result of the planet’s axis tilting towards the level in which it orbits the sun, and this tilt of 23 degrees makes different parts of the globe receive varying amounts of sunlight throughout the year.

But Jupiter’s axis tilts toward the giant planet’s orbital plane by only 3 degrees, which means that the amount of sunlight that reaches different parts of Jupiter’s surface throughout its long year barely changes. The new study found periodic temperature fluctuations that occur around the cloud-covered globe.

“We’ve now solved one piece of the puzzle, which is that the atmosphere shows these natural cycles,” said Lee Fletcher, an astronomer at the University of Leicester in the UK and co-author of the new paper, at NASA, “to understand what is driving these patterns and why they occur in these ranges.” timescale, and we need to explore both the cloudy layers and beneath them.”

The team found indications that these non-seasonal seasons may have something to do with a phenomenon known as telecommuting, which describes periodic changes in aspects of a planet’s atmospheric system that occur simultaneously in seemingly disconnected parts of the globe that can be thousands of miles away. miles or kilometers.

Teleconnection has been observed in Earth’s atmosphere since the 19th century, most notably in the famous La Niña-El Niño cycle, also known as the Southern Oscillation. During these events, changes in the trade winds in the western Pacific coincide with changes in precipitation in most across North America, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

In the new research, scientists on Jupiter found when temperatures rise at specific latitudes in the northern hemisphere, the same latitudes in the southern hemisphere cool, almost like a perfect mirror image.

“This was the most surprising of all,” Glenn Orton, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and lead author of the study, said in the release.

“We found a link between how temperatures differ at very distant latitudes,” he said. “It is similar to a phenomenon we see on Earth, where weather and climate patterns in one region can have a marked effect on weather in another, with patterns of variation appearing to be ‘tele-connected’ across vast distances through the atmosphere.”

The measurements also revealed that when temperatures rise in the stratosphere, the upper layer of Jupiter’s atmosphere, they fall into the troposphere, the lowest layer in the atmosphere, where weather events, including Jupiter’s powerful storms, occur.

The study included data from 1978 onwards, collected by some of the best ground-based telescopes, including the Very Large Telescope in Chile and NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility and the Subaru Telescope at the Mauna Kea Observatories in Hawaii.

The researchers also used data from spacecraft such as the deep space probes Voyager, which flew by Jupiter in 1979, and the Cassini mission, which flew by Jupiter in 2001 on its way to exploring Saturn.


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