For years, scientists have been trying to figure out why Jupiter is so far away from the Sun, and why the temperature of the upper atmosphere reaches 1,000K, contrary to expectations. According to the latest research by NASA and Jaxa, Jupiter’s aurora may be related to Jupiter’s warming.
Jupiter’s atmosphere can be divided into about four layers: the troposphere, the stratosphere, the thermosphere, and the dispersion layer. Since Jupiter does not have a solid surface like Earth, the scientific community generally considers an atmospheric pressure of 10 bar to be the lowest point in the troposphere, and 1 bar is considered to be the surface of Jupiter, but in fact there are no clear boundaries between Jupiter’s atmosphere and the interior of planetary fluid.
However, the vertical temperature change of Jupiter’s atmosphere is similar to that of the Earth’s atmosphere: the temperature of the troposphere decreases with altitude, and the maximum temperature above the troposphere (50 km above the surface of Jupiter) reaches minus 163 of. ); Then the stratospheric temperature rises to minus 70 to; After the thermosphere, temperatures began to rise, rising to about 726 C at an altitude of about 1,000 km above the surface of Jupiter.
Consider the distance between Jupiter and the Sun at 778 million km. Based on the amount of sunlight reaching Jupiter, it is assumed that Jupiter must be a cold world, with a minimum ambient temperature not exceeding 73 C. But in reality, the results of every observation of Jupiter’s atmosphere from space and Earth over the past half-century have worried scientists.
Why is the temperature of the atmosphere above Jupiter’s equator so high? Where does this heat come from? Is there any unknown heat source near the equator? Now, astronomers have drawn a detailed map of Jupiter’s upper atmosphere using data from the Keck Observatory’s telescope, revealing for the first time that the heating system behind Jupiter’s atmosphere comes from the powerful aurora.
The aurora is produced when charged particles near the planet’s poles pass through magnetic field lines and collide with atoms and molecules in the upper atmosphere. On Earth, this collision produced northern lights and southern lights, but on Jupiter, Io Io contributed a lot of material due to volcanic activity, which further intensified Jupiter.
Although astronomers in the past considered Jupiter’s aurora to be a means of warming the atmosphere, early models indicated that the polar regions would not reach low latitudes due to the effect of Jupiter’s rapid rotation.
The new model now shows that Jupiter looks like a huge refrigerator. Although thermal energy pushes energy from the equator to the poles and deposits it in the lower polar atmosphere, the rapidly changing aurora pushes the waves of energy against this flow and thus pushes heat back to the equator. Explain the evidence leading to the heat transfer process.
Overall, Jupiter’s Aurora is less than 10% of the planet’s area, but it seems to be heating up Jupiter as a whole. Researchers have also found local warming in an area not far from Aurora. It is not yet clear what this feature is, but researchers believe it is a heat wave that pushes Aurora toward the equator.
New essayPublished in the journal Nature.
(Source of the first image:NASA Goddard VideoScreenshot)
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