Jupiter's Unexpected Temperature Patterns

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Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Video imagery:

  • Infrared and UV images of Jupiter: ESO / L.N. Fletcher
  • Infrared image of Jupiter: ESO /F. Marchis, M. Wong, E. Marchetti, P. Amico, S. Tordo

Writer: Leah Ramsay
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Education review: Jim Manning
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A white line moves across colorful images of space.
Text, News from the Universe.
December 21, 2022. Jupiter's unexpected temperature patterns.
Scientists have completed a four-decade study tracking temperatures in the layer of Jupiter's atmosphere where weather occurs.
The infrared data show unexpected patterns that scientists can't tie to the planet's seasons or other known cycles.
Surprisingly, temperatures at specific locations in the northern and southern hemisphere seem to relate to each other, rising in the north while declining in the south.
To understand what's driving these patterns and why they occur on particular timescales, scientists will explore further above and below Jupiter's clouds.
Ultimately, scientists want to be able to predict weather on the gas giant planet.
This news was brought to you in part by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.