Water spotted at Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

Christopher Davidson
September 2, 2018

Because these clouds sit down at a depth the set the stress is five events Earth's surface atmospheric stress - correct the set the temperature reaches the freezing level for water - "I remark that we very probably chanced on a water cloud", said lead writer Gordon Bjoraker, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Region Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. By studying the giant storm with ground-based telescopes, they were able to observe molecular hydrogen and oxygen at infrared wavelengths, backing up theories that Jupiter could actually be abundant in water. He and his team were anxious that the experiment would fail because the Great Red Spot is made up of dense clouds, making it hard to see any clues about its chemistry.

"It turns out they're not so thick that they block our ability to see deeply". "That's been a pleasant surprise", said Bjoraker.

Steven M. Levin at the NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California said, "Jupiter's water abundance will tell us a lot about how the giant planet formed, but only if we can figure out how much water there is in the entire planet".

To supplement those observations, the team used data from NASA's Juno spacecraft, which can probe deeper into Jupiter's clouds than any mission before.

If Juno is successful in returning similar water findings, it could help open a new window into finding a solution to the problem, said Goddard's Amy Simon, who is a planetary atmospheres expert.

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Prior to the arrival of probe Galileo to Jupiter, most planetary scientists believed that the atmosphere of a gas giant is nearly no ammonia, and water.

Bjoraker's team found evidence for the three cloud layers in the Great Red Spot, supporting earlier models.

Recently the presence of water and ice on the moon has been confirmed. It's a critical factor in Jupiter's turbulent weather, too, and in determining whether the planet has a core made of rock and ice. Its mass should be 10 times the mass of the Earth.

Bjoraker and colleagues collected radiation data on Jupiter using two special telescopes on the Mauna Kea summit in Hawaii - an instrument at NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, and the "most sensitive infrared telescope on Earth" at the Keck Observatory, according to the space agency.

In fact, for the first time the data showed three distinct cloud layers at different depths: ammonia clouds in the top layer, ammonium-hydrogen sulfide clouds much deeper and the probable water clouds, both ice and liquid, even deeper. Bjoraker said in a statement. Mike Wong and so a lot of scientists frail data from the Galileo probe, which plunged into Jupiter's clouds in 1995, to search out that nearly all heavy points - carbon, sulfur, nitrogen and the obedient gases - are about four events more mighty on Jupiter than within the solar. What they observed is "almost certainly a water cloud", they said. Orbiting Jupiter since July 2016, the craft is using its infrared spectrometer and microwave radiometer to search for signs of water and its abundances.

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