In recent days we have written about the quartz crystals discovered in the atmosphere of the exoplanet WASP-17b thanks to the data provided James Webb Space Telescope. The JWST In fact, it allows the analysis of both very distant objects and much closer objects, even within the solar system. In the past we have already seen images or analyzes of Europa, Saturn, Enceladus and Uranus. However, you couldn’t miss it Jupiterresumed in July and August last year.
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Just that Gas giant was the subject of a new study analyzing its complex atmosphere, full of currents, eddies and overlapping structures that shape its surface. Scientists have used several telescopes and probes in the past to study its properties, evolution and contributions JWST was crucial to finding one High-speed jet stream in the equatorial zone. We know this.
The James Webb Space Telescope and Jupiter’s Atmosphere
The images and data that helped astronomers publish the study by title “an intense narrow equatorial jet in Jupiter’s lower stratosphere observed by JWST” They were captured by the near-infrared instrument in July 2022 (when the planet was at 4.44 AU). NIRCamand filters F164N, F212N, F360M to which the colors blue, green and red were each assigned to create the spectacular image that can also be seen in this message.
Reportedly thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope it was possible to spot one Jet stream (Jet stream) high speed in the equatorial zone of Jupiter and especially in the highest part of the planet’s atmosphere. Especially me Winds There, at an altitude of 40 km above the clouds, they would have a speed of approx 520 km/h and although they are undetectable compared to other phenomena (such as the Great Red Spot), they are still a determining element in the dynamics of Jupiter. The Hubble Space Telescope was also used for the research, providing data and images the following day and convective currents in the equatorial region in particular have no longer been of interest since then Jet stream (and therefore useful for distinguishing what was actually influenced and what was not).
As explained by Ricardo Hueso (Author of the study) “That took us completely by surprise. What we always saw as fuzzy hazes in Jupiter’s atmosphere now appear as sharp features that we can track along with the planet’s rapid rotation.”.
It must be taken into account that the jet stream is captured by the Space telescope it extends over approx 4800km and is located in the upper equatorial region (towards the planet’s north pole) in a band that appears in the images of JWST appears to have a lighter color, similar to that of the Great Red Spot.
This is still a study that needs other data to better understand Jupiter’s atmosphere (very complex) and its properties, but thanks to the JWST The first foundations were laid in order to obtain useful information about its development in a short time.
In particular Leigh Fletcher (another researcher and co-author of the study) added that if the model of Jupiter stratosphere And cyclicalIt is expected that these currents could change in two or four years, and new observations would therefore allow us to better describe what is going on Jupiter. Fletcher also underlines how, despite years of dealing with the currents andpleasant atmospherea stream of this type may have only recently been discovered, highlighting how much there is still to learn Jupiter.