New impressive discoveries for Jupiter

Jupiter is covered in violent, powerful winds that last hundreds of years

Jupiter is covered in violent, powerful winds that last hundreds of years

They have very violent winds, reaching, in some cases, speeds as great as 220 miles per hour (350 kph).

Jupiter's storms are complex beasts that defy explanation at this point.

Here's another finding, courtesy of Juno: Unlike Saturn's enigmatic hexagonal (six-sided polygon) cloud structure over the ringed gas giant's north pole, Jupiter's northern cyclones form an octagonal (eight-sided) grouping. These new discoveries relate to its gravitational field, its chaotic atmosphere, the composition of its interior and its polar cyclones, and allow scientists to form a more complete picture of the larger planet of our solar system.

The fourth research, headed by Alberto Adriani of the Institute of Astrophysics and Planetology in Rome, found that 350 km of cyclones at the poles of Jupiter create long-lasting polygonal shapes.

NASA spacecraft Juno has collected new data on its mission to Jupiter revealing some of the swirling inner mysteries of the giant gas-planet. Astronomers aren't sure about the science behind these shapes, how they interact and why there's a difference between the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn.

As for Juno, NASA now has plans to continue using the spacecraft to reveal more of Jupiter's secrets through at least July 2018.

"The Juno observations so far provide concrete evidence that the Jovian poles display multitudes of structure at its poles, but that structure is not identical at both poles, even though the stability and structures have remained stable over 11-months", planetary scientist Padma Yanamandra-Fisher, who wasn't an author on the new study, said via email.

Yohai Kaspi, Juno's co-investigator from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, said, "Galileo viewed the stripes on Jupiter more than 400 years ago". Less is also the lead author of a paper included in the journal "Nature".

More data needs to be analysed in order to fully understand what is going on beneath Jupiter's atmosphere and Kaspi and fellow co-workers are hoping that by studying some of Jupiter's other iconic features, such as the Great Red Spot, with the same methods they developed to characterise the jet-streams, they can understand how deep this giant storm extends as well.

The result was a surprise for the Juno science team because it indicated that the weather layer of Jupiter was more massive, extending much deeper than previously expected. These weather systems churn down to a depth of 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers), and this layer contains a huge amount of stuff - accounting for approximately 1 percent of the mass of the entire planet.

Kaspi said, "By contrast, Earth's atmosphere is less than one millionth of the total mass of Earth".

"This is really an awesome result, and future measurements by Juno will help us understand how the transition works between the weather layer and the rigid body below", said Tristan Guillot, a Juno co-investigator from the Université Côte d'Azur, Nice, France.

It's also odd that the cyclones at the north and south pole on Jupiter aren't the same.

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