Dr Santiago Pérez-Hoyos, of the Planetary Science Group of the University of the Basque Country in Spain, is presenting the findings at the European Planetary Science Congress in Münster on Monday 22nd September.
“Our group has made an in-depth analysis of all the aspects regarding the history and evolution of Oval BA. The most strongly reddened region was an annulus around its centre. However, when we calibrated images taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, we found that it didn’t actually alter in red or infrared wavelengths during the period. Instead, it became darker in blue and ultraviolet wavelengths, which made it appear visually redder,” said Dr Pérez-Hoyos.
Oval BA was formed in 2000 by the merger of smaller vortices called the White Ovals in a chain of collisions that started back in 1998. The apparent reddening was first reported by amateur astronomers in early 2006, but it was not until April that professional astronomers were able to image the impressive alteration of the second largest storm in the Solar System after the Great Red Spot (GRS).
Using data from Cassini, the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA’s New Horizons mission and computer models the Planetary Science Group analysed possible causes for the colour change, including alterations to dynamical, photochemical and diffusion processes.
Dr Pérez-Hoyos said, “The most likely cause appears to be an upward and inward diffusion of either a coloured compound or a coating vapour that may interact later with high energy solar photons at the upper levels of Oval BA.”
Comparing Oval BA with the GRS, the group found that the GRS is still redder than BA, most likely because it is higher in Jupiter’s atmosphere, thicker and contains a higher concentration of the mysterious unknown chemical agents (cromophores) that give Jupiter its browny-red colour.
Oval or its white predecessors.
The group modelled the wind flow in detail using high resolution simulations, in order to understand why the red material may be confined to the annulus region and how the colour change happened in the observed time scales. The model accounts well for the temperature and wind structure inside the oval BA.
Models also showed that the change could not be attributed to interactions of Oval BA with the GRS, which were relatively close at the time. The flow around both vortices is in the zonal directions and is so strong that separates both storms.
The oval height did not change over the period and there were no large changes in the temperature gradient of the oval.
Dr Pérez-Hoyos said, “There is much to be understood about this problem yet. Future spacecraft missions and a continuous observation of the planet (as done by amateur astronomers) will surely give us new clues on the behaviour of Jupiter’s atmosphere that will result in a better understanding of it.”
IMAGESImages can be found at:
FURTHER INFORMATIONOval BA
4) improve public understanding of planetary environments.Europlanet Project website: http://europlanet.cesr.fr/
Anita Heward | alfa
Significantly more productivity in USP lasers
06.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
Shape matters when light meets atom
05.12.2016 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
06.12.2016 | Earth Sciences
06.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy