Colorful twisted cloud belts dominate the southern hemisphere of Jupiter in a picture taken by NASA Juno spacecraft
Scientists from the USA and Australia helped to solve the riddle of the color bands of Jupiter in a new study of the interaction of the atmosphere and magnetic fields. Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. Unlike Earth, it does not have a solid surface. It is a gaseous planet, consisting mainly of hydrogen and helium.
Several powerful jet streams flow from west to east in the atmosphere of Jupiter. Ammonia clouds in the outer atmospheric layer are carried by these jet streams to form colored stripes with shades of white, red, orange, brown and yellow. A lot of information has been received about terrestrial jets, which also concerns the key role in weather and climate. But much to learn about the atmosphere of Jupiter.
Recent data from NASA’s Juno spacecraft shows that these jet streams reach a depth of 3,000 km below the clouds. A new theory indicates that these flows are suppressed by a strong magnetic field. The gas inside Jupiter is magnetized, which explains the depth of the jet streams.
Polar and subtropical jet streams in the earth's atmosphere form the climate, especially in mid-latitudes, such as Australia, Europe and North America. They affect the weather and climate, acting as a barrier that impedes the movement of air on both sides.
Jet streams on Earth are wavy and irregular, and on Jupiter it is much smoother. Under the atmosphere of the gas giant there are no mountains or continents to hinder their path. Such studies are important, because Jupiter can be used as a laboratory to analyze the functionality of atmospheric flows.