Recently highest resolution imagery of Jupiter have obtained by NASA's Juno, Hubble Space Telescope, and ground-based Gemini Observatory in Hawaii. The exploration is mainly to obtain information about the atmospheric turbulent of the giant planet. The research is being led by Michael Wong of the University of California, and Amy Simon of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and Imke de Pater.


The stunning multi-wavelength images have been developed by the combination of Gemini’s Near-Infrared Imager (NIRI), Juno’s radio wave observations, and Hubble Space Telescope’s visible light and ultraviolet wave detected images.

The obtained images are the finest image of Jupiter ever captured from the ground based station. The technique involved in it, is called the ‘lucky imaging’ – as stated by Michael Wong. This technique is about the acquisition of a series of images with very short exposure within a very concise moment, from the ground based platform.

It seems to be quite problematic to capture images of any distant object in space, because the telescope is needed to focus through the earth's turbulent atmosphere, where many meteorological pollutants act as obstacles in the way of vision through telescope. This way, once in a while, some sharp images are obtained ‘luckily’.

Note to the fact that, infrared ‘lucky imaging' of Gemini obtained the sharp image that of 300 miles/500 kilometres per pixel angular resolution down to 0.13 arc-seconds.

What's About the Gigantic 'Red Spot' of Jupiter?

The gigantic 'red spot’ is actually revealed as a storm in the atmosphere of Jupiter, locating at almost 22° south from Jupiter's equator. It is also sometimes considered as the solar system's largest planetary storm.

Scientists have invented some black spots in between the big red spot on Jupiter. They reported that these could be only the gaps in the cloud cover of that particular area, as captured by Gemini’s sharp infrared sensor, rather than the masses of dark materials that was thought before.

Glenn Orton, one of the members of the research team, stated that,
Similar features have been seen in the great red spot before, but visible-light observation couldn't distinguish between darker cloud material, and thinner cloud cover over Jupiter's warm interior, so there nature remained a mystery.

A mosaic of images of the red spot on Jupiter, captured by Hubble Space Telescope and Gemini with different wavelength sensors | Image Courtesy : NASA

Basically the fact is that extreme heat emits from the plant’s interior. In the observed ‘red spot’ region, the heat is blocked by the high atmospheric clouds and could not get free into the space. Whereas the emitted heat becomes free to transmit through the gaps of cloud cover in the atmosphere, and thenceforth gets clearly captured by the high resolution infrared sensor of Gemini.

Wong stated that,
It’s a kind of like a Jack-O-Lantern, you can see bright infrared light coming from cloud-free areas, but where there are clouds, it's really dark in the infrared.


Gigantic Storms on Jupiter

The graphic representation shows the atmospheric turbulance in Jupiter, as per the data provided by Juno, Gemini, and Hubble | Image Courtesy : NASA

There are consistently occuring gigantic storms in the 705.36 million kilometres away distant world. There the storms are almost 40 miles tall from surface level. If compared to that of the Earth, Jupiter's gigantic storms are almost five times more taller, and the lightnings are almost three times more powerful and energetic than Earth's ‘superbolts lightning’.

It is important to note that, this research work was published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series in April 2020.

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