Author Topic: Juno's New Information on Jupiter  (Read 841 times)

Offline Shiranu

Juno's New Information on Jupiter
« on: March 16, 2018, 11:28:09 AM »
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This image is a composite of several images taken using the Jupiter InfraRed Auroral Mapper, which can detect light in the thermal infrared. That means warmer gas is brighter, and cooler darker. The warmest gas in these images is about -10° C, and the coolest about -80°.

That dark (cool) swirl is the Northern Polar Cyclone (or NPC), a vortex about 4,000 kilometers across — that's the distance from Los Angeles to New York City! It's surrounded by cool gas, and around that is an entirely bizarre string of eight cyclones, all about the same size. At first I thought they formed an octagon, but a better description is two overlapping and rotated squares, each square made by connecting every other cyclone around the pole.

Start with the one in the lower left (let’s call it cyclone 1): See how it looks smoother, slightly bigger, and more organized than the ones on either side of it? Once you see that, you'll see that cyclones 3, 5, and 7 are similar, and that 2, 4, 6, and 8 are less organized, rougher. It turns out the two overlapping patterns are different in other ways; for example, the centers of the odd ones are at a latitude of 82.5, and the even ones a bit farther north at 83.3° — a difference of nearly 1,000 km!

Why? Well, yeah, that's a good question, and no one knows. It's common in planetary atmospheres to get cyclones near the poles; a complicated byproduct of the Coriolis effect pushes them poleward. But in most planets the cyclones merge when they get close, or dissipate. However, this octet of them (nonet if you include the NPC) was seen in the earliest Juno images and have persisted for at least seven months, far longer than you'd expect. They may even be older, since we don't know how long they were there before Juno arrived.

On Saturn, a similar effect created and sustains the oh-so-very-cool hexagonal pattern at its north pole. Why this hasn't happened on Jupiter is unknown.


Also weirdly, the south pole of Jupiter is different.


There's a single Southern Polar Cyclone (the SPC in this case), but only five cyclones around it! They're bigger too, and are different sizes, ranging from 5,600 to 7,000 km across. Again, it's not clear why the poles are different. The fact that there are fewer in the south and they're bigger may be related (I'm guessing, but if you have fewer they can grow to fill more space … ?), but no one really knows.


There is more fun sciency-stuff in the article about the atmosphere, and that Jupiter's atmosphere composes 1% of it's total mass (vs Earth's millionth of it's total mass atmosphere), and that 1% is still three times the entire mass of Earth.
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Re: Juno's New Information on Jupiter
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2018, 01:35:30 PM »
Interesting article! Jupiter is one giant (literally) mystery, but humanity seems to be up to the task of solving much of the mystery. I look forward to more weirdness from Jupiter!
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Online Baruch

Re: Juno's New Information on Jupiter
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2018, 08:36:15 PM »
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Interesting article! Jupiter is one giant (literally) mystery, but humanity seems to be up to the task of solving much of the mystery. I look forward to more weirdness from Jupiter!

How about superconducting metallic hydrogen core, that makes a powerful magnetic field?  A friend of mine, years ago, worked in the design of the Galileo spacecraft, the first direct probe of the Jovian atmosphere.
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Juno's New Information on Jupiter
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2018, 03:36:04 AM »
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Interesting article! Jupiter is one giant (literally) mystery, but humanity seems to be up to the task of solving much of the mystery. I look forward to more weirdness from Jupiter!

Any planet that could have metallic hydrogen at its center is going to be pretty strange.
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Online Baruch

Re: Juno's New Information on Jupiter
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2018, 11:15:04 AM »
Quote
Jupiter is thought to consist of a dense core with a mixture of elements, a surrounding layer of liquid metallic hydrogen with some helium, and an outer layer predominantly of molecular hydrogen. - Wiki

So the core of Jupiter is not solid metallic hydrogen, but liquid metallic hydrogen ... the atoms are pushed so close together, the individual nuclei share electrons (as conductors do).  The liquid outer core of the Earth, is thought to have whirlpools of liquid metal perhaps on a pattern like that picture of the atmosphere of jupiter.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2018, 11:16:36 AM by Baruch »
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Juno's New Information on Jupiter
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2018, 12:49:11 AM »
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So the core of Jupiter is not solid metallic hydrogen, but liquid metallic hydrogen ... the atoms are pushed so close together, the individual nuclei share electrons (as conductors do).  The liquid outer core of the Earth, is thought to have whirlpools of liquid metal perhaps on a pattern like that picture of the atmosphere of jupiter.

You know, the more posts I read from you, the more I suspect that you are better at looking up science than understanding it.  Because sometimes you just don't make any sense at all.

At high pressure and temperatures, metallic hydrogen might exist as a liquid rather than a solid, and researchers think it is present in large quantities in the hot and gravitationally compressed interiors of Jupiter, Saturn, and in some extrasolar planets.  But not within Earth. 
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Online Baruch

Re: Juno's New Information on Jupiter
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2018, 06:10:37 AM »
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You know, the more posts I read from you, the more I suspect that you are better at looking up science than understanding it.  Because sometimes you just don't make any sense at all.

At high pressure and temperatures, metallic hydrogen might exist as a liquid rather than a solid, and researchers think it is present in large quantities in the hot and gravitationally compressed interiors of Jupiter, Saturn, and in some extrasolar planets.  But not within Earth.

So you do claim to understand science ... not just know it?  More of your preening then?

Read carefully, our core is iron-nickel ... I didn't add that in, it was assumed that you knew.  Basically stainless steel.
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Juno's New Information on Jupiter
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2018, 12:41:53 AM »
Just thought I should add:

"Considering that the whole Earth on average consists of the same mixture of stuff we see elsewhere in the solar system, the core has to be iron metal along with some nickel. But it's less dense than pure iron, so about 10 percent of the core must be something lighter.

Ideas about what that light ingredient is have been evolving. Sulfur and oxygen have been candidates for a long time, and even hydrogen has been considered. Lately there has been a rise of interest in silicon, as high-pressure experiments and simulations suggest that it may dissolve in molten iron better than we thought.

Maybe more than one of these is down there. It takes a lot of ingenious reasoning and uncertain assumptions to propose any particular recipe—but the subject is not beyond all conjecture."

But there is no liquid hydrogen at the Earth's core. LOL!
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