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Wed Mar 7, 2018, 08:38 PM

Nasa spacecraft reveals Jupiter's interior in unprecedented detail

The new findings, based on high-precision gravitational measurements, show that Jupiter’s iconic striped bands, caused by immensely powerful winds, extend to a depth of about 3,000km below the surface. The mission has also produced a partial answer to the question of whether the planet has a core, showing that the inner 96% of the planet rotates “as a solid body”, even though technically it is composed of an extraordinarily dense mixture of hydrogen and helium gas.
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A crucial question was whether the bands on Jupiter, caused by air currents that are five times as strong as the most powerful hurricanes on Earth, were a “weather” phenomenon comparable to the Earth’s jet streams or part of a deep-seated convection system. Juno’s latest observations point to the latter, showing the jets continued to around 3,000km beneath the surface – deep enough to cause ripples and asymmetries in the planet’s gravitational field that were perceptible to detectors on the spacecraft.
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On Earth, the atmosphere represents about a millionth of the mass of the whole planet. The latest work suggests that on Jupiter the figure is closer to 1%. “The concept that an atmosphere can be so heavy and contain so much of the planet is surprising,” said Yohai Kaspi, a planetary scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and the other lead author on this topic.
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On an imagined journey from the outside to the centre, one would first encounter a cloud layer of 99% hydrogen and helium, with traces of methane and ammonia. The density at the surface is about 10 times less than that of air, but the gas becomes denser and denser towards the centre of the planet. At about 10% towards the centre, the gas becomes so dense that hydrogen becomes ionised, turning into a metallic hydrogen gas approaching the density of water. About 20% towards the centre, helium condenses into rain. And in the deep interior, where pressures are about 10 million times higher than at the Earth’s surface, scientists think the gas exists as a dense soup speckled with rocks of heavy metal.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/mar/07/nasa-spacecraft-reveals-jupiters-interior-in-unprecedented-detail

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Reply Nasa spacecraft reveals Jupiter's interior in unprecedented detail (Original post)
muriel_volestrangler Mar 2018 OP
alfredo Mar 2018 #1
LudwigPastorius Mar 2018 #2
Judi Lynn Mar 2018 #3
Nitram Mar 2018 #4
muriel_volestrangler Mar 2018 #5
Nitram Mar 2018 #6
muriel_volestrangler Mar 2018 #7
Nitram Mar 2018 #8

Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Thu Mar 8, 2018, 11:12 AM

1. That is incredible.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Thu Mar 8, 2018, 12:38 PM

2. What I really want to know is, is the Red Spot red because Jupiter is embarrassed that its so gassy?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2018, 12:13 AM

3. Wonderful article, the created image is astounding. Thank you. n/t

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2018, 10:12 AM

4. Sounds like an incredibly toxic stew.

Is there still speculation that giant gas planets like Jupiter are "failed stars", in that they are proto-stars that failed to reach the mass required to start a fission reaction?

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Response to Nitram (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 9, 2018, 10:47 AM

5. 'failed' by quite a long way - 13 times Jupiter's mass needed for any fusion

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sub-brown_dwarf

(and that's for fusion using deuterium; for proton-proton fusion, this says you need 75 times the mass of Jupiter: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=7wNOoL-Lco8C&pg=PA57&lpg=PA57 )

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 9, 2018, 10:59 AM

6. I guess you have to be at the center of the spinning cloud of dust to achive that much mass.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 9, 2018, 11:11 AM

7. Maybe not - it sounds complicated

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_star#Formation

Their new clues support the idea that double-star systems form when a disk of gas and dust whirling around one young star fragments, forming another new star in orbit with the first. Young stars that still are gathering matter from their surroundings form such disks along with jetlike outflows that rapidly propel material in narrow beams perpendicular to the disk.

When Tobin and an international team of astronomers studied gas-enshrouded young stars roughly 1,000 light-years from Earth, they found that two had previously unseen companions in the plane where their disks would be expected, perpendicular to the direction of the outflows from the systems. One of the systems also clearly had a disk surrounding both young stars.

“This fits the theoretical model of companions forming from fragmentation in the disk,” Tobin said. “This configuration would not be required by alternative explanations.”

The new observations add to a growing body of evidence supporting the disk-fragmentation idea. In 2006, a different VLA observing team found an orbiting pair of young stars, each of which was surrounded by a disk of material. The two disks they found were aligned with each other in the same plane. Last year, Tobin and his colleagues found a large circumstellar disk forming around a protostar in the initial phases of star formation. This showed that disks are present early in the star formation process, a necessity for binary pairs to form through disk fragmentation.

http://www.astronomy.com/news/2014/01/new-studies-give-strong-boost-to-binary-star-formation-theory

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 9, 2018, 11:13 AM

8. Fascinating. Thank you for sharing.

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