Scientists were able to observe the disappearance of the famous superstorm on the giant planet using images in the infrared spectrum.
Astronomers have unveiled stunning new images of Jupiter that reveal details of the gas giant’s atmosphere. They were obtained using the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini North Observatory in Hawaii.
The footage shows details of Jupiter’s turbulent atmosphere at different wavelengths, helping to figure out what is driving massive storms on the planet.
Scientists processed images taken in infrared, visible and ultraviolet wavelengths to compare different types of clouds over the gas giant in parallel.
Interact with new images of #Jupiter from @GeminiObs & @HubbleTelescope. Compare observations at three different types of light & explore the gas giant’s clouds yourself! Learn more & toggle between images here: https://t.co/SsbWDBz1mU @UCB_Astronomy pic.twitter.com/XmqrxVZ1UI— NOIRLab (@NOIRLabAstro) May 11, 2021
So, the big red spot is a giant super-storm, which is very clearly visible in the visible and ultraviolet ranges of light waves but almost merges with the background in the infrared range.
Jupiter’s counter-rotating cloud bands are clearly visible in all three images.
In contrast to the red spots, the infrared image clearly shows a cyclonic vortex propagating from east to west. A series of eddies stretching for almost 72,000 kilometers looks like a bright streak in the northern hemisphere of the planet.
Scientist Mike Wong of the University of California has further compared the images to radio signals detected by NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which is currently studying the planet.
These radio signals indicate lightning strikes in Jupiter’s atmosphere. By combining three types of images with lightning data, Wong and his team were able to explore different layers of cloud structure to better understand the formation processes behind the planet’s massive storms.