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Successful measurement of the wind speed in the stratosphere of Jupiter. A real "meteorological monster" ...

A group of astronomers recorded the speed of the winds in the stratosphere of Jupiters blow, measured directly. A team led by Thibault Cavalie from the Bordeux Astrophysics Laboratory did the movement with the Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array (ALMA) new molecules observed in Jupiter's atmosphere after the impact of the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 formed in 1994. The results suggest that the winds studied are the strongest meteorological phenomenon in the Solar system could be.

Image source: Pixabay

During the stratosphere the wind speeds of Jupiter cannot be measured because there are no clouds there. Fortunately, scientists have developed an alternative measurement method. They decided to study the velocity of hydrogen cyanide molecules that appeared in the jet currents of Jupiter's atmosphere after the Shoemaker-Levy 9 collision.

The most spectacular of the discoveries we have made is the observation of strong jet currents at speeds of up to 400 meters per second. They blow under the northern lights near the poles, says Cavalie. These are 400 m / s 1440 km/hwhich is more than twice as fast as the highest wind speedwho have favourited in the Great Red Spot on the Jupiter was measured. It is also over three times as fast as the fastest recorded wind on earth.

Our study shows that these jet currents behave like giant eddies, with diameters up to four times the diameter of the earth and heights of up to 900 kilometers, says study co-author Bilal Benmahi. One such big vortex is a meteorological event unique in the solar system, adds Cavalie.

Scientists have known for some time that high winds blow near the poles of Jupiter, but they are hundreds of kilometers higher than the area studied by Cavalie's team. Previously, it was thought that these winds would weaken significantly before reaching the deeper parts of the atmosphere. The ALMA data says exactly the opposite, according to Cavalie. The scientists used 42 of the 66 antennas from ALMA in the Atacama Desert. With these they measured the Doppler effect, small changes in the frequency of radiation emitted by molecules. These changes are caused by the movement of molecules. By observing these changes, we were able to calculate the speed of the wind, just as one can calculate the speed of a moving train from the change in the frequency of its warning signal, explains Vincent Hue of the Southwest Research Institute.

The scientists not only measured velocities in the stratosphere near the poles. They also made the first direct measurements of Jet currents in the stratosphere around the equator. It turned out that they blow at an average speed of 600 km / h.