Amazing new photographs give rare insight into what was happening under Jupiter's emerging clouds during storms. Images depict how disturbing events are in the colorful bands of the planet.
For the first time, radio wave images were created for scientists to look deep into atmospheric conditions under Jupiter's colorful clouds of ammonia after an "energetic eruption" occurred 50 kilometers (31 miles) below the surface. Eruptions are like hurricanes on Earth and can include lightning.
The radio wave image was created using data from the Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimetre Array (ALMA) group, which allowed researchers to create a "three dimensional map of ammonia gas distribution in under the clouds, " Imke de Pater from the University of California, Berkeley explained.
Images show how Jupiter's weather systems are changing and suggest that hurricanes disrupt colorful bands on the surface of the planet, and may change their color.
They also express high levels of ammonia gas, which adds weight to theory that lightning explosions are triggered by moist convection waves in water clouds deep in Jupiter's atmosphere. These explosions can push ammonia fuel above the clouds into the coldest part of the environment, where they create visible white plumes as they freeze.
"If these plumes are vigorous and continue to have convective events, they may disturb one of these entire bands over time, though they may last several months," de Pater added.
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