Jupiter’s stripes dominate most photos. The planet’s stripes, which move and alter, are one of its most intriguing aspects.
According to the University of Leeds, a new finding, achieved in part owing to fresh Jupiter magnetic field data, may explain why it happens.
“Through a telescope, Jupiter’s stripes circle the equator along latitude lines. Dark and bright bands occur, and if you look closely, you may see clouds flying about on extremely strong easterly and westerly winds. The wind blows east near the equator but westward at higher latitudes.
Jupiter’s shifting stripes were one of its biggest mysteries.
If you travel farther, it heads east again. In a press announcement, research co-author Chris Jones remarked, “This alternating pattern of eastward and westward winds is quite different from weather on Earth.”
Jones says Earth changes every four to five years. Scientists have detected worldwide weather changes and belt color changes. Why is unknown.
Infrared fluctuations 50 km below Jupiter’s surface are connected to this shift in appearance. Jones and colleagues found that waves from the gas giant’s magnetic field deep inside the planet may create these fluctuations.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft data helped researchers track and quantify magnetic field variations on the planet. The planet’s magnetic field oscillations matched its gases’ infrared radiation periods.