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NASA study reveals strange temperature patterns in Jupiter’s atmosphere

NASA study reveals strange temperature patterns in Jupiter’s atmosphere

#NASA #study #reveals #strange #temperature #patterns #Jupiters #atmosphere Welcome to InNewCL, here is the new story we have for you today:

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Jupiter and its moon Io as seen by the Cassini spacecraft in 2000.

Jupiter and its moon Io as seen by the Cassini spacecraft in 2000. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A four-decade study documenting temperatures in Jupiter’s atmosphere using NASA spacecraft has revealed an unexpected behavior of the gas giant’s weather over time. NASA says the study is the longest ever to track temperatures in Jupiter’s troposphere.

According to NASA, Jupiter’s troposphere — the lowest region of an atmosphere — is a bit like Earth’s in that it’s the layer where most of the planet’s weather occurs. To study Jupiter’s troposphere, scientists observed the planet’s infrared light, which is brighter in warmer areas of the atmosphere. The study began in 1978 and continued over the next four decades. Previous studies of Jupiter’s atmosphere typically covered periods shorter than the planet’s 12-year orbit; The long duration of the new work allowed the researchers to weed out possible seasonal variations. The research was published in Nature Astronomy.

“Measuring these temperature changes and periods over time is a step towards a complete weather forecast for Jupiter if we can connect cause and effect in Jupiter’s atmosphere,” said co-author Leigh Fletcher in a NASA news release. “And the even bigger question is whether we can one day extend this to other giant planets to see if similar patterns emerge.” Fletcher is a professor of planetary sciences at the University of Leicester.

One of the team’s key findings is that temperatures at Jupiter’s mid-latitudes follow a reliable warming and cooling pattern, but these variations are unlikely to be seasonal. Unlike Earth, which has well-defined seasons due to its 23.5-degree axial tilt, Jupiter tends to have no seasonality as its axis is only tilted about 3 degrees.

The researchers also observed a temperature relationship between areas thousands of kilometers apart — as a latitude in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere warmed, the mirror image in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere got colder. Glenn Orton, lead author of the study and senior research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, called this finding “the most surprising of all” in a NASA publication.

“We found a link between temperature variations at very distant latitudes,” Orton said. “It’s similar to a phenomenon we see on Earth, where weather and climate patterns in one region can have a noticeable impact on the weather in another region, with patterns of variability appearing to be ‘tele-connected’ over large distances through the atmosphere.”

The next step for the researchers is to figure out the mechanisms behind these mysterious fluctuations.

“We’ve now solved part of the puzzle, which is that the atmosphere shows these natural cycles,” said Leigh Fletcher. “To understand what drives these patterns and why they occur on these particular timescales, we need to investigate both above and below the cloud layers.”

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