Jupiter is a type of planet called a gas giant, as opposed to rocky planets like Earth and Mars, and its composition is 99 percent hydrogen and helium.
Previously there have been extensive studies of the helium-and-hydrogen planet's surface, but now gravity measurements collected by Juno indicate that this turbulent outer layer extends to a depth of 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers). A team led by Yohai Kaspi of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel used another asymmetry, that of Jupiter's magnetic field, to calculate the depth of Jupiter's atmosphere, finding that the mass of the atmosphere amounts for about 1% of the planet's total mass.
'Until now, we only had a superficial understanding of them and have been able to relate these stripes to cloud features along Jupiter's jets. "Now that we know the gravity signature of the atmosphere it will help us in better understanding the interior structure, core mass and eventually the origin of Jupiter".
Instead, they found an octagon-shaped grouping over the north pole, with eight cyclones surrounding one in the middle, and a pentagon-shaped batch over the south pole.
However, there's also a downside to the Juno mission: it offered so much valuable data that it's gonna be very hard to top it.
This handout picture provided by Nature and released by NASA/SWRI/JPL/ASI/INAF/IAFPS on March 8, 2018 shows Jupiter's South Pole in a mosaic of images acquired by the Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper at wavelengths. Both of these motions effectively either add or subtract mass in different areas and that has an effect on the planet's gravity field. But according to rumor, Saturn is different in a very specific way-its dynamic weather appears to extend much deeper into the planet than Jupiter's, just as predicted.
Data gathered also indicates that beneath the weather layer Jupiter rotates almost as a rigid body.
Jupiter’s cloud belts are greater than previously thought. Credit NASA JPL-Caltech SwRI MSSS Kevin M. Gill
The cyclone-infested upper atmosphere of our solar system's biggest planet has been unveiled in intricate detail, with striking new images from NASA's Juno probe. JIRAM probes the weather layer down to 30 to 45 miles (50 to 70 kilometers) below Jupiter's cloud tops. These atmospheric winds last longer than similar atmospheric processes found on Earth. Part of the scientific data sent back recently has to do with massive cyclones that surround the north and south poles of Jupiter. "Now, we have been able to observe the polar weather up-close every two months", Dr. Adriani said.
"They are extraordinarily stable arrangements of such chaotic elements", says Morgan O'Neill, a University of Chicago postdoctoral scholar and a coauthor on paper "Clusters of cyclones encircling Jupiter's poles".
Nearly all the polar cyclones, at both poles, are so densely packed that their spiral arms come in contact with adjacent cyclones.
Juno launched on August 5, 2011, and spent five years travelling to its destination. The northern cyclones each range from between 4,000 and 4,600 km across in size.
The scientists reported today there's a constellation of nine cyclones over Jupiter's north pole and six over the south pole.
"These astonishing science results are yet another example of Jupiter's curve balls, and a testimony to the value of exploring the unknown from a new perspective with next-generation instruments", Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno, notes.
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