Stunning Photographs of Jupiter’s Storm Can Be Analyzed by Citizens in New Science Project
- A new project allows citizens to identify the composition of Jupiter’s storms
- Scientists have long sought to understand the “eddies” that form in the clouds of these storms
- Jupiter is over 467 million miles from Earth and its atmosphere is made up of hydrogen and helium
Jupiter is famous for its massive and eye-catching storms.
Now citizens will be able to help scientists unravel the mysteries of the gigantic planet’s storms.
The project is hosted on Zooniverse and uses data from NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which launched in 2011 and arrived on the planet in 2016.
The effort aims to study the “different types of clouds that form on Jupiter, in order to better understand how the atmosphere of the largest planet in our solar system works,” Ramanakumar Sankar, project manager and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota, explained.
Citizens can now help identify Jupiter’s storms through a project hosted on Zooniverse. The Great Red Spot, seen above, is a large storm system on the huge planet that measures more than 10,000 miles in diameter, twice the diameter of Earth
The researchers will focus on the vortices that form in Jupiter’s clouds, as well as their origins, which have long puzzled scientists, Sankar said.
“We know very little about why the clouds in the whirlpools have so many colors – is it due to atmospheric composition? Or do the clouds form at different altitudes, where pressure and temperature affect the crystal structure, resulting in a different color? »
Jupiter is located more than 467 million miles from Earth and its atmosphere is made up of hydrogen and helium.
Scientists hope to better understand these areas by creating a catalog of vortices and “associating them with the underlying physics/chemistry of where they form,” Sankar wrote in a blog post.
“If one person has trouble categorizing an image, maybe others will too,” Sankar said. “It could indicate that we have found something new or unique that we can take a closer look at.”
Earlier this month, NASA released a clip of Juno flying just 2,050 miles above the gas giant.
It was moving at around 131,000 miles per hour relative to the planet, according to NASA.
“If one person has trouble categorizing an image, maybe others will too,” Sankar said. “It could indicate that we have found something new or unique that we can take a closer look at.” This stunning look at Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and the Southern Hemisphere was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft and it passed the planet