JUN 21, 2016 10:47 AM PDT

Astronomers Look Into Jupiter's Clouds With a Radio Telescope

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Jupiter has long been a mystery. We know it’s a massive gassy planet, but lots of astronomers believe that deep down in the clouds we’ll found a solid rocky core.
 
An upcoming mission dubbed Juno is expected to reach Jupiter in July so we can learn more about the massive gaseous planet, but astronomers have reportedly already started decoding Jupiter from right here on Earth with a radio telescope.
 
Peering through the planet’s cloudy surfaces, the astronomers note their findings in the journal Science.
 

Peering through Jupiter's surface with a radio telescope array has given a team of astronomers a more detailed view of what to expect.

Image Credit: AAAS/SCIENCE

Using the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope system on Earth, scientists were able to study the layers of Jupiter immediately under the initial surface of the planet’s atmosphere as deep as 100 kiliometers below the planet's initial atmospheric surface, something we couldn’t do until now. Among the things they found there were traces of ammonia.

"What really excites me is just the level of detail we see. In our maps you can see different zones, turbulent features, vortices - even the Great Red Spot,” University of California, Berkeley’s Michael Wong told the BBC in a statement. “This has all been made possible by an upgrade to the VLA and a new technique developed by one of our co-workers.”

The following video was pushed on the University's YouTube channel to show off the results:
 


By tracking the glow of ammonia from the images taken with the VLA system, scientists were able to gather information and predict models for the movement of the planet’s gasses and help to better understand its composition and environment.

Additionally, the team was even able to gather atmospheric pressures and temperatures with this model, providing even more detail than they've ever been able to accomplish with any Earth-based technology to date.
 
Despite the fact that NASA’s Juno spacecraft will be arriving at the planet this Independence Day (July 4th), we were able to get a preliminary view of Jupiter’s atmosphere with this radio telescope array prior to its arrival, giving us somewhat of an idea of what to expect so more time can be spent studying other things.

Source: BBC, Astronomy Now

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 20, 2020
Space & Astronomy
How Do Astronauts Have Fun in Space?
JUL 20, 2020
How Do Astronauts Have Fun in Space?
Scientists who inhabit the International Space Station (ISS) typically have 12-hour shifts. These include two and a half ...
AUG 05, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Mars Was Shaped by Ice Sheets - not Rivers
AUG 05, 2020
Mars Was Shaped by Ice Sheets - not Rivers
Physicists have found that in the distant past, Mars may not have been warm enough to carry vast oceans. Instead, in new ...
AUG 16, 2020
Space & Astronomy
A Very Distant Galaxy From the Early Universe Is a Lot Like the Milky Way
AUG 16, 2020
A Very Distant Galaxy From the Early Universe Is a Lot Like the Milky Way
With the power of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have identified a very young gala ...
AUG 18, 2020
Space & Astronomy
First Visitor from Another Solar System Remains Unknown
AUG 18, 2020
First Visitor from Another Solar System Remains Unknown
An object hurtling through our solar system known as 'Oumuamua' is our first visitor from another solar sys ...
OCT 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Ultra-hot Exoplanet Vaporizes Iron in its Atmosphere
OCT 09, 2020
Ultra-hot Exoplanet Vaporizes Iron in its Atmosphere
Researchers from the University of Bern in Germany have found that an exoplanet, known as WASP-121b, is so hot that it c ...
OCT 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Are There Planets Better for Life than Earth?
OCT 10, 2020
Are There Planets Better for Life than Earth?
Researchers have found at least 24 planets outside of our solar system may be better for life than Earth. Each a little ...
Loading Comments...