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Jupiter Atmosphere Has Different Wavelength

The Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini North observatory in Hawaii captured images that unveil details of the turbulent atmosphere of Jupiter in different wavelengths which helps the scientists to figure out what drives the formation of the gas giant’s massive storms.

Scientists have refined the images captured in infrared, visible and ultraviolet wavelengths to allow interactive side-by-side comparison of the different views of the clouds above the gas giant. The altering appearance of the planet in different wavelengths allows astronomers to gain new understandings of the behaviour of the atmosphere of Jupiter.The Great Red Spot, the giant superstorm that remains south of Jupiter equator, is very evident in the visible and ultraviolet light wavelengths but blends into the background the infrared. The comparison between the three types of wavelengths also reveals that the dark region representing the Great Red Spot in the infrared image is larger than the corresponding red oval in the visible image.

According to a statement by the U.S. National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory which released the images said that the difference resulted in the fact that each of the imaging methods captures varied properties of the planet’s atmosphere. The infrared observations demonstrate areas covered with thick clouds, the visible and ultraviolet images highlight locations of the so-called chromophores, which are molecules that absorb blue and ultraviolet light, thus giving the spot its characteristic red color.

The counter-rotating bands of clouds of Jupiter are visible in three views. The images were captured on Jan. 11, 2017. The ultraviolet and visible views were taken by the Wide Field Camera 3 on the Hubble Space Telescope, while the infrared photo was captured by the Near-Infrared Imager instrument at Gemini North in Hawaii. The Hubble Telescope revealed the smaller Red Spot Jr, which formed in 2000 when three similar-sized storms merged southwest of the larger superstorm. The Great Red Spot, the Junior was barely visible in the infrared wavelength, disappearing into the larger band of cooler clouds. The cyclonic vortex can be seen prominently in the infrared image, spreading from east to west. This 72,000 kilometers series of vortices, appears like a bright streak in the northern hemisphere of the planet.

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