Juno Spacecraft Reveals Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Extends Deeper Than Expected Into Giant Planet

Jupiter Great Red Spot Earth Comparison

Revealed: The Secrets our Clients Used to Earn $3 Billion

This illustration integrates a picture of Jupiter from the Juno Webcam instrument aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft with a composite picture of Earth to illustrate the size and depth of Jupiter’s Great RedSpot Credit: Juno Camera Image information: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ SwRI/MSSS; Juno Camera Image processing by Kevin M. Gill (CC BY); Earth Image: NASA

Jupiter‘s renowned Great Red Spot (GRS)– a 16,000- kilometer-wide tempest that has actually been churning in the world’s environment for numerous centuries– extends much deeper into the gas giant than formerly anticipated, scientists report in a set of research studies that provide brand-new information from the Juno spacecraft.

The findings expose brand-new insights into Jovian meteorology and its links to the world’s much deeper interior. Large storms and bands of turning winds are plentiful in Jupiter’s environment, consisting of the excellent GRS– a storm so enormous it might swallow Earth whole. However, it’s uncertain whether these storms are restricted to the uppermost parts of the world’s environment or extend much deeper into the world.

In a set of research studies, Scott Bolton and coworkers and Marzia Parisi and coworkers utilize microwave and gravity measurements, respectively, from the Juno spacecraft to define Jupiter’s climatic vortices, consisting of the GRS. Bolton et al utilized Juno’s Microwave Radiometer (MWR) instrument to examine the vertical structure of the GRS along with 2 other storms and discover that they extend listed below the elevation at which water and ammonia are anticipated to condense– or the world’s cloud level. This is especially real for the GRS. According to the authors, this recommends the existence of small vibrant procedures, such as rainfall and downdrafts, at much deeper levels than formerly anticipated, which might suggest a connection in between Jupiter’s interior and deep environment.

Parisi et al taken a look at the gravity signature of the GRS and additional constrained its depth. Within the gravity measurements taken as Juno flew above the GRS, Parisi et al found changes in the world’s gravitational field triggered by the storm. They discovered that, although the GRS is deeply rooted within the environment, it’s far shallower than the surrounding zonal jets that power the GRS, which extend much deeper.

According to the findings, the depth of the GRS disappears than 500 (kilometers) km deep while the surrounding jets encompass depths approaching 3,000 km.

For more on this and associated research study, see NASA’s Juno Probe Offers First 3D View of Jupiter’s Atmosphere, Inner Workings of Great Red Spot.


“The depth of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot constrained by Juno gravity overflights” by Marzia Parisi, Yohai Kaspi, Eli Galanti, Daniele Durante, Scott J. Bolton, Steven M. Levin, Dustin R. Buccino, Leigh N. Fletcher, William M. Folkner, Tristan Guillot, Ravit Helled, Luciano Iess, Cheng Li, Kamal Oudrhiri and Michael H. Wong, 28 October 2021, Science
DOI: 10.1126/ science.abf1396

“Microwave observations reveal the deep extent and structure of Jupiter’s atmospheric vortices” by S. J. Bolton, S. Levin, T. Guillot, C. Li, Y. Kaspi, G. Orton, M. H. Wong, F. Oyafuso, M. Allison, J. Arballo, S. Atreya, H. N. Becker, J. Bloxham, S. Brown, L. N. Fletcher, E. Galanti, S. Gulkis, M. Janssen, A. Ingersoll, J. L. Lunine, S. Misra, P. Steffes, D. Stevenson, J. H. Waite, R. K. Yadav and Z. Zhang, 28 October 2021, Science
DOI: 10.1126/ science.abf1015