This Eerie Similarity With Earth Has Finally Solved The Mystery of Jupiter's Cyclones

1/13/2022 3:02:00 AM

Earth and Jupiter don't have a lot in common.

Why does Jupiter's clouds look so startlingly like a phytoplankton bloom in the southern Gulf of Bothnia? An ocean scientist says it comes down to moist convection. Read more: 📷: NASA OBPG OB.DAAC/GSFC/Aqua/MODIS, JPL/SwRI/MSSS, Gerald Eichstädt

Earth and Jupiter don't have a lot in common.

 "When I saw the richness of the turbulence around the Jovian cyclones with all the filaments and smaller eddies, it reminded me of the turbulence you see in the ocean around eddies,"Vortices on Earth and Jupiter. (NASA OBPG OB.DAAC/GSFC/Aqua/MODISImage/Gerald Eichstädt)

5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) across, with smaller scale vortices and filaments, from 100 to 1,600 kilometers.The infrared images allowed them to see the temperatures of these images; hotter regions represent thinner clouds, and cooler ones represent thicker clouds.

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Jupiter don't have a lot in common.The top 10 views of Earth from space "However, during the preparation of the recovery operations, it became clear that the initial anomaly was a consequence of a potential serious problem related to a unit of the power system of the Sentinel-1B satellite," they added..Supernova Rates and Burial of Organic Matter .

One is relatively small, rocky, and habitable. The other is absolutely enormous, completely lacking in solidity, and raging with colossal storms. Further investigations to identify and remedy the root cause will be performed over the next days. Yet, if you look at some satellite pictures of marine phytoplankton blooms here on Earth next to pictures of atmospheric turbulence at Jupiter's poles, it can be hard to tell them apart.   It's a striking similarity, and one that has finally led us to an answer as to what causes Jupiter's spectacular turbulence: moist convection. Together, the two satellites have been providing continuous, high-resolution radar mapping of Earth for a variety of users. This is when warmer, less dense air rises, and even at the small scale, it's enough to cause huge cyclones on our Solar System's biggest planet. “When heavy stars explode, they produce cosmic rays made of elementary particles with enormous energies.

And, fascinatingly, it took an ocean scientist to make the connection. The Sentinel-1 pair aren't the only Copernicus spacecraft to get off the ground. "When I saw the richness of the turbulence around the Jovian cyclones with all the filaments and smaller eddies, it reminded me of the turbulence you see in the ocean around eddies," of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. "These are especially evident on high-resolution satellite images of plankton blooms for example. More are scheduled to launch in the coming years as well." Vortices on Earth and Jupiter. (NASA OBPG OB. Mike Wall is the author of". Clouds block solar radiation from reaching Earth’s surface, cooling the climate.

DAAC/GSFC/Aqua/MODISImage/Gerald Eichstädt) Moist convection was proposed as the mechanism behind Jupiter's turbulence some time ago, but we didn't have access to the sufficiently detailed data needed for a confirmation. Then Juno arrived on the scene. Its orbit around the gas giant took it around the poles, allowing us the first detailed views of these turbulent regions. There, scientists saw 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) across, with smaller scale vortices and filaments, from 100 to 1,600 kilometers.   Juno is equipped with two cameras – optical and infrared – at resolutions down to scales of 10 kilometers. The colored band at the top of the figure indicates climatic warm periods (orange), cold periods (blue), glacial periods (white and blue hatched bars), and finally peak glaciations (black and white hatched bars).

Siegelman and her colleagues analyzed Juno's images of the gas giant's north pole, using the sequences of optical images to track the movements of the clouds, which in turn gave estimates of wind speed and direction. The infrared images allowed them to see the temperatures of these images; hotter regions represent thinner clouds, and cooler ones represent thicker clouds. Turbulence on Earth and Jupiter. ( NASA OBPG OB.DAAC/GSFC/Aqua/MODISImage/JPL/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt ) This level of detail allowed the team to figure out how the turbulence occurs. When there’s higher bio-productivity, more organisms live and die, and when they die, they fall to the ocean floor as organic matter, to be encased in sediments.

They found that rapidly rising convective upwellings of hot, less dense air from origins less than 100 kilometers across transfers energy upwards into the giant cyclones, feeding and sustaining them. (Although, to be perfectly clear, we still don't know what makes these cyclones start.) This type of energy transfer hasn't been observed on any other planet. Interestingly, it resembles idealized studies of rapidly rotating ; that's convection in which a horizontal lower layer of fluid is heated and rises into the cooler layer above. This similarity supports the model of moist convection in the Jovian polar cyclones. The top panel shows supernova activity and the lower panel shows the organic matter content in ocean sediments.

  This finding started with Earth and an uncanny similarity between our home planet and Jupiter. It also boomerangs back to Earth: it might be able to provide some insights into our own atmospheric processes, the researchers said. Wind observations taken here on Earth show a similar kinetic energy spectrum to the Jovian observations, which suggests that very similar energy transfer may be occurring on both planets. "To be able to study a planet that is so far away and find physics that apply there is fascinating," Siegelman said ."It begs the question, do these processes also hold true for our own blue dot?" Future investigations will be needed in order to confirm this, but it could ultimately contribute to a better understanding of our home planet. So how does the increased organic matter lead to more oxygen? Read on.

The team's research has been published in .