. 24/7 Space News .
Study explains why Jupiter's jet stream reverses course on a predictable schedule
by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) Dec 19, 2017

Scientists can finally explain why Jupiter's jet stream regularly reverses course -- like clockwork. The revelation could help scientists better understand similar equatorial jet stream oscillations found on Earth and Saturn.

The latest research -- published this week in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets -- reveals that gravity waves are the primary driver of the reversal of Jupiter's equatorial jet stream.

Researchers first discovered Earth's equatorial jet stream after watching ash from the 1883 eruption of the Krakatoa volcano being blown from east-to-west. Hot air balloons later confirmed the stratospheric current.

The jet stream begins in the lower stratosphere and moves toward the upper troposphere, the lowest level of Earth's atmosphere. The current regularly reverses course, with each phase lasting roughly 28 months. The phenomenon is called the quasi-biennial oscillation, or QBO.

Jupiter's phenomenon is called the quasi-quadrennial oscillation, or QQO, with each phase lasting four Earth years. Scientists were able to study the pattern in greater detail than ever before using instruments at NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility.

Scientists imaged the jet stream across a larger area and longer timespan, but at much higher resolutions than previous efforts.

"These measurements were able to probe thin vertical slices of Jupiter's atmosphere," Amy Simon, a planetary scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said in a news release. "Previous data sets had lower resolution, so the signals were essentially smeared out over a large section of the atmosphere."

The precision detail and broad perspective allowed scientists to identify the driver of the wind pattern. Scientists built an atmospheric model using data collected during the comprehensive survey of Jupiter's QQO. Simulations suggest gravity waves produced in the lower atmosphere are propagated upward where they cause the equatorial jet stream to reverse course.

Scientists hypothesize that gravity waves are also a major driver of Earth's QBO reversal, but aren't powerful enough to power the oscillation alone.

"Despite the many differences between Earth and Jupiter, the coupling mechanisms between the lower and upper atmospheres in both planets are similar and have similar effects," said Raúl Morales-Juberías, an associate professor at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro. "Our model could be applied to study the effects of these mechanisms in other planets of the solar system and in exoplanets."

Juno probes the depths of Jupiter's Great Red Spot
Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 13, 2017
Data collected by NASA's Juno spacecraft during its first pass over Jupiter's Great Red Spot in July 2017 indicate that this iconic feature penetrates well below the clouds. Other revelations from the mission include that Jupiter has two previously uncharted radiation zones. The findings were announced Monday at the annual American Geophysical Union meeting in New Orleans. "One of the most ... read more

Related Links
The million outer planets of a star called Sol

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Crew of three docks at International Space Station

'Dragon back' as cargo reaches space station

SpaceX resupply truck Dragon on route to ISS for space research delivery

Paolo Nespoli returns to Earth

In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship

RS-25 Engine Test is Giant Step for 3-D Printing

Ariane 5 rocket takes off with European GPS satellites

Russian space agency blames satellite loss on programming error

Planting oxygen ensures a breath of fresh air

Opportunity Comes to a Fork in the Road

Designing future human space exploration on Hawaii's lava fields

Space program should focus on Mars, says editor of New Space

Nation 'leads world' in remote sensing technology

China plans for nuclear-powered interplanetary capacity by 2040

China plans first sea based launch by 2018

China's reusable spacecraft to be launched in 2020

Green Light for Continued Operations of ESA Science Missions

New business incubators will help space industry grow

mu Space becomes first Thai startup to acquire satellite license

Regulation and compliance for nontraditional space missions

Seeing through walls of unknown materials

Boeing tapped to sustain Space-Based Space Surveillance system

Northrop Grumman producing RF threat detection system

Blackbody radiation from a warm object attracts polarizable objects

Spanning disciplines in the search for life beyond Earth

NASA uses AI to uncover eighth planet circling distant star

No alien 'signals' from cigar-shaped asteroid: researchers

Life's building blocks observed in spacelike environment

New Horizons Corrects Its Course in the Kuiper Belt

Does New Horizons' Next Target Have a Moon?

Juno probes the depths of Jupiter's Great Red Spot

Wrapping up 2017 one year out from MU69

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.