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A Jupiter Carousel: Hotspots Ride The Wave

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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Jupiter seen by Cassini (NASA)

New analysis of data taken by the Cassini mission during its encounter with Jupiter in 2000 reveal that exceptionally clear atmospheric ‘hotspots’ effectively ride up and down in the Jovian skies as they are formed by what’s known as a Rossby wave – a phenomenon familiar to us here on Earth.

The authors of the study have produced such an excellent video explaining all of this that it’s all you need to look at (really, it’s that good). The original scientific article is by Choi et al. in the journal Icarus, with a press release here.

Caleb A. Scharf About the Author: Caleb Scharf is the director of Columbia University's multidisciplinary Astrobiology Center. He has worked in the fields of observational cosmology, X-ray astronomy, and more recently exoplanetary science. His books include Gravity's Engines (2012) and The Copernicus Complex (2014) (both from Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux.) Follow on Twitter @caleb_scharf.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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