A video has been released on Monday showing Juno spacecraft diving into Jupiter’s swirling clouds through Great Red Spot storm. With this simulated journey, it unveils the mysteries of the Great Red Spot storm that might have existed for over 350 years.
Scientists have gathered information during the flyby of Juno spacecraft over the Great Red Spot in July. Scott Bolton, the Juno principal investigator, said that Juno data indicates that the solar system’s most famous storm is almost one-and-a-half Earth’s wide and has roots that penetrate about 200 miles into the planet’s atmosphere, as noted by CNet.
Meanwhile, Professor Andrew Ingersoll from the California Institute of Technology said that they are now putting together the 3D structure of the Great Red Spot. Previously, they have known it only from a 2D perspective.
He further said that how deep the roots go is still to be determined. However, the warmth they see at depth is consistent with the winds they measure at the top of the atmosphere.
As seen from the collected data, the Great Red Spot has wind speeds between 270 to 425 miles per hour or 270 to 685 km/hr. It is about 200 miles or 320 km deep. That is about 10 to 100 times thicker than the crust of the planet Earth. These results from the data gathered were announced at the American Geophysical meeting in New Orleans on Dec. 11, according to Gizmodo.
NASA also stated that the Great Red Spot seems to be shrinking in recent years. It has shrunk by a third in width and an eighth in height since 1979.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft will continue its scientific investigation on the gas giant planet. It aims to understand the mysterious nature of Jupiter’s atmosphere underneath the clouds. Its mission also includes measuring the planet’s composition, magnetic field, polar magnetosphere, and gravity field. Juno was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 5, 2011, and arrived at Jupiter on July 5, 2016.
Currently, the scientists at the AGU conference are comparing Jupiter’s and the planet Earth’s aurorae. They are also discussing the measurements of the Jupiter’s gravitational field to enable to determine its internal structure and analysis of its magnetosphere.