‘I’m ready for my close-up!’ Hubble PHOTOS portray Jupiter’s atmosphere in stunning detail (VIDEO)
Though much remains unknown about the fifth planet from the sun, photos and a brief video clip published by NASA on Thursday could help scientists inch toward unlocking the world’s mysteries.
Among the unanswered questions is Jupiter’s great red spot, perhaps the best known “landmark” on the planet’s highly volatile surface atmosphere. While the spot – an ancient, gargantuan storm – can alone still swallow up to three Earth-sized planets, since the 1800s scientists and stargazers have watched the spot shrink in size; nobody is quite sure why.
Unlike Earth’s solar-powered atmosphere, Jupiter’s chaotic weather system is driven from blistering temperatures from within its gaseous core, churning a brilliant swirl of colorful gasses on the planet’s surface. Understanding Jupiter’s climate is a long-term goal for astronomers.Also on rt.com Molecular diamonds & golden asteroids: Your guide to becoming a space trillionaire
However, “attempting to understand the forces driving Jupiter's atmosphere is like trying to predict the pattern cream will make when it is poured into a hot cup of coffee,” according to the press release that accompanied the new images – meaning there is still much work to be done.
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