A newly published study carried out by NASA researchers reveals that, after all, Jpiter's atmosphere may have more water than expected. To reach this conclusion, scientists used data collected by the Juno spacecraft, which has been helping to discover the mysteries of the planet since the beginning of July 2016.
According to the study published in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy, the data collected by the Juno spacecraft demonstrate a different reality from that which the Galileo mission made known in 1995. 25 years ago, the data sent by the NASA spacecraft revealed that Jpiter could be a extremely dry planet when compared to the Sun. In this context, the comparison is based on the presence of the elements that make up water (oxygen and hydrogen).
The new data reveal that, after all, the equatorial zone of Jpiter's atmosphere has a composition of 0.25% water. When we think we already know everything about Jpiter, the planet reminds us that, in fact, we still have a lot to learn, stresses Scott Bolton, one of the study's main researchers, quoted in a NASA press release. The scientist says that this is one of many puzzles that NASA is trying to solve.
The gas giant and its set of natural satellites have been puzzling the scientific community for a long time, especially the moon Europa. In August 2019, NASA announced that it is getting closer and closer to starting its exploration of the Jpiter moon. The Europa Clipper mission is in the final stage of its development, following the construction of the satellite that will embark on the space trip in 2025. Until then, the European Space Agency also has a trip scheduled for Jpiter for 2022, where the Juice mission – Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer – take a trip behind the natural satellites of this planet.