October 3, 2022

Scientists Crack Mystery of Massive Cyclones Forming ‘Polygonal Patterns’ on Jupiter

Researchers suggest that a good “anticyclonic ring” makes it possible for the “polygonal pattern” of cyclones on Jupiter to remain stable.

The team of researchers led by Andrew Ingersoll through Caltech has managed to gain new insight into peculiar climate phenomena observed at the rods of the solar system’s biggest planet, Jupiter.

The phenomena in question are massive cyclones which were first spotted at Jupiter’s poles by NASA’s Juno mission several years ago, and which usually move in polygonal patterns that will seem to remain stable for a long time.

In Jupiter’s north, one cyclone continues to be detected near the planet’s pole, with eight other cyclones surrounding it in an octagonal pattern; in the planet’s south, there are five more cyclones that “ form a pentagon with one in the center, ” the  study   states.

In their function, the researchers suggest that this arrangement is essentially made possible simply by an “ anticyclonic ring” located between the polar cyclone and the cyclones that encircle it.

Their own findings, the team states, support the theory that this kind of shielding provided by the “ anticyclonic ring” is needed to maintain the stability of the “ polygonal pattern”.

“ However , even at the littlest spatial scale (180km) we all do not find the expected signature bank of convection – the spatial correlation between divergence and anticyclonic vorticity – in contrast with a previous study using additional assumptions about the dynamics, which shows the particular correlation at scales through 20 to 200km, ” the researchers add. “ We suggest that a smaller dimension, relative to atmospheric thickness, associated with Jupiter’s convective storms compared to Earth’s, can reconcile the 2 studies. ”


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