December 8, 2022

One of the planets that is most frequently researched by astronomers is Jupiter. In an effort to better comprehend the planet’s atmosphere and look for evidence of extraterrestrial life, astronomers have always been interested by the activities taking place on the surface of the gas giant. According to a report in Vice News, a group of scientists has now put new light on the odd storms that circle Jupiter’s north pole. The publication added that each of these storms is the size of the United States.

The scientists, led by Andrew P. Ingersoll of the California Institute of Technology, hypothesised that “an anticyclonic ring” between the main cyclone and the smaller cyclones keeps the clusters in their distinctive polygonal patterns and contributes to the stability of these storms.

But other queries regarding the storms on Jupiter remain unanswered by the study, which was published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The report stated that since 2017, the Juno spacecraft has seen a large cyclone in Jupiter’s north pole surrounded by eight smaller cyclones grouped in a polygonal pattern. It is unclear why or how to preserve this setup, despite its stability.

The researchers added, “The polygons and the individual vortices that make them have been constant for the four years after Juno found them. The rotation of the polygonal patterns is sluggish or nonexistent.

The research is based on the examination of pictures taken by the Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument on board Juno. However, when it came to “the expected hallmark of convection-a spatial link between divergence and anticyclonic vorticity,” they were unable to uncover data along the previously anticipated lines.

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To resolve the contradicting evidence, they came to the conclusion that more research on Jupiter’s southern cyclones is necessary.