Star wind heats the atmosphere of Jupiter
The sun, like all stars, emits its constituent substances, in the process of which the so-called stellar winds arise. It was already known that they play a key role in the formation of new stars, and now scientists have discovered another effect – heating the atmosphere of such huge planets as Jupiter. This suggests that stellar winds have a much greater impact on the planet than previously thought. Scientists have concluded that the temperature rise arises due to the fact that the solar wind actively interacts with the atmosphere of the planet.
When the solar wind reaches the surface of Jupiter, the atmosphere and temperature of the planet change in just one day. The heat map shows bright spots on the upper and lower parts of Jupiter – these are areas with elevated temperature, where auroras occur due to changes in the atmosphere.
The heat map of the planet was made using a Subaru telescope located in Hawaii and operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. In particular, the photograph was taken using two instruments: a mid-infrared camera and a COMICS spectrograph, which is capable of recording thermal images of the stratosphere.
The new discovery surprised scientists, because Jupiter is so great that the solar wind, it would seem, could not so quickly spread. According to Glenn Orton of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, they were the first to compare changes in the solar wind and the reaction in the stratosphere.
Scientists believe that the solar wind affects not only the temperature of the atmosphere of Jupiter, but also other planets. Perhaps this discovery will shed light on the mysteries of other space objects and even reveal the secrets of the formation of the Earth.
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