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Jupiter's Great Red Spot: The Reason Behind Scorching High Temperature Of The Giant Planet

First Posted: Jul 28, 2016 05:16 AM EDT

A new study indicates that Jupiter's Great Red Spot is the reason of the massive high-temperature atmosphere that Jupiter is experiencing right now.

CNN reported that the atmospheric temperature on Jupiter range from around 930 degrees Celsius to 1,330 degrees Celsius. The said temperature is described as hotter than a molten lava.

The findings of the study were printed in the journal Nature on July 27, 2016. The study was led by James O'Donoghue from Boston University's Center for Space Physics and other colleagues.

The researchers mapped the temperatures above Jupiter's cloud tops using observations from Earth. They examined the data from the SpeX spectrometer at NASA's Infrared telescope Facility (IRTF) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. They discovered the temperatures to be much higher in particular latitudes and longitudes in Jupiter's southern hemisphere, in which the great red spot is located, according to NASA.

O'Donoghue explained that the extremely high temperatures spotted over the storm appear to be the 'smoking gun' of this energy transfer. He further explained that this tells humans that planet-wide heating is a probable explanation for the 'energy crisis,' a problem in which upper-atmospheric temperatures are gauged hundreds of degrees hotter than can be explained by sunlight alone.

The results of the study show that the storm in the Great Red Spot creates two kinds of turbulent energy waves that collide and heat the upper atmosphere. The heating in the upper atmosphere 500 miles (800 kilometers) above the Great Red Spot is due to a combination of these two wave types that are crashing, like ocean waves on a beach.

The Great Red Spot on the planet Jupiter is the continuing anticyclonic storm that has kept for at least 186 years and could be longer as 351 years or more. It has been discovered in the 17th century. It has the swirl of reddish hues and about two to three times as wide as the planet Earth. Most people perceive it as a "perpetual hurricane."

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