Portal:Jupiter/Radiation astronomy/10

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Oranges[edit | edit source]

This image of Jupiter is a composite of three color images taken on Nov. 16, 2010, by NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/IRTF.

In the image at the top of the page, orange cloud bands are clearly visible on Jupiter.

"[O]range [is] the color of Jupiter"[1].

The orange and brown coloration in the clouds of Jupiter are caused by upwelling compounds that change color when they are exposed to ultraviolet light from the Sun. The exact makeup remains uncertain, but the substances are believed to be phosphorus, sulfur or possibly hydrocarbons.[2][3] These colorful compounds, known as chromophores, mix with the warmer, lower deck of clouds. The zones are formed when rising convection cells form crystallizing ammonia that masks out these lower clouds from view.[4]

"This image [on the right] of Jupiter is a composite of three color images taken on Nov. 16, 2010, by NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility. The particles lofted by the initial outbreak are easily identified in green as high altitude particles at the upper right, with a second outbreak to the lower left."[5]

"Earlier this year, one of Jupiter’s stripes went missing. The Southern Equatorial Band started to get lighter and paler, and eventually disappeared. Now, follow-up images from both professional and amateur astronomers are showing some activity in the area of the SEB, and scientists now believe the vanished dark stripe is making a comeback."[5]

“The reason Jupiter seemed to ‘lose’ this band – camouflaging itself among the surrounding white bands – is that the usual downwelling winds that are dry and keep the region clear of clouds died down. One of the things we were looking for in the infrared was evidence that the darker material emerging to the west of the bright spot was actually the start of clearing in the cloud deck, and that is precisely what we saw.”[6]

"This white cloud deck is made up of white ammonia ice. When the white clouds float at a higher altitude, they obscure the missing brown material, which floats at a lower altitude. Every few decades or so, the South Equatorial Belt turns completely white for perhaps one to three years, an event that has puzzled scientists for decades. This extreme change in appearance has only been seen with the South Equatorial Belt, making it unique to Jupiter and the entire solar system."[5]

"The white band wasn’t the only change on the big, gaseous planet. At the same time, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot became a darker red color."[5]

"The color of the spot – a giant storm on Jupiter that is three times the size of Earth and a century or more old – will likely brighten a bit again as the South Equatorial Belt makes its comeback."[6]

"The South Equatorial Belt underwent a slight brightening, known as a “fade,” just as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft was flying by on its way to Pluto in 2007. Then there was a rapid “revival” of its usual dark color three to four months later. The last full fade and revival was a double-header event, starting with a fade in 1989, revival in 1990, then another fade and revival in 1993. Similar fades and revivals have been captured visually and photographically back to the early 20th century, and they are likely to be a long-term phenomenon in Jupiter’s atmosphere."[5]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Faber Birren (Summer 1983). "Color and human response". Color Research and Application 8 (2): 75-81. doi:10.1002/col.5080080204. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/col.5080080204/abstract. Retrieved 2012-04-23. 
  2. Elkins-Tanton, Linda T. (2006). Jupiter and Saturn. New York: Chelsea House. ISBN 0-8160-5196-8.
  3. Strycker, P. D.; Chanover, N.; Sussman, M.; Simon-Miller, A. (2006). A Spectroscopic Search for Jupiter's Chromophores. American Astronomical Society. Bibcode:2006DPS....38.1115S.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. Gierasch, Peter J.; Nicholson, Philip D. (2004). Jupiter. World Book @ NASA. Retrieved 10 August 2006.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Nancy Atkinson (24 December 2015). How Jupiter is Getting Its Belt Back. Universe Today. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Glenn Orton (24 December 2015). How Jupiter is Getting Its Belt Back. Universe Today. Retrieved 12 February 2017.