Amazing new photographs give rare insight into what goes on underneath Jupiter’s swirling clouds during its storms. The images reveal how the events are disturbing the planet’s colorful bands.
For the first time ever, radio wave images made it possible for scientists to look deep into the atmospheric conditions below Jupiter’s colorful ammonia clouds after an “energetic eruption” took place 50 kilometers (31 miles) beneath the surface. The eruptions are similar to Earth’s thunderstorms and can include lightning
Jupiter in radio waves with ALMA (top) and visible light with the Hubble Space Telescope (bottom) © ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), I. de Pater et al.; NRAO/AUI NSF, S. Dagnello
The radio wave image was created using data from the Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre Array (ALMA) telescope group, which allowed researchers to make a “three-dimensional map of the distribution of ammonia gas below the clouds,” Imke de Pater from the University of California, Berkeley explained.
The images show how Jupiter’s weather systems evolve and suggest storms are disrupting the colorful bands on the layer of the planet’s surface, and may even change their color.