It is already a dark and stormy planet, so its observation has always been marked by some difficulties. The images obtained to date were not particularly detailed, but a recent project has made it possible to capture a photograph that reveals more details than ever before.
the clearest view we've ever had of the planet. The image gives us a view of the storms that crash into its atmosphere and NASA astronomer Amy Simon explains that it is now possible to "learn more than ever about Jpiter's meteorology.
Sightings of this quality are possible thanks to a network of space projects that, interconnected, allow this type of images to be brought to the North American space agency. Everything starts with the Juno spacecraft, which has orbited the planet since 2016; the intermediate point is the Hubble space telescope; and the final station is the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii.
This network "is our meteorological satellite, as it allows us to look at the meteorological cycles of the planets", comments Simon in a conversation with Space. And there are many storms to watch in Jpiter. Although the Great Red Spot is the focus of the largest phenomenon identified, the astronomer stresses that all the storms surrounding the planet are "impressive", since lightning has already been observed three times stronger than the most powerful rays recorded on Earth.
At this moment, Gemino, Hubble and Juno are working synchronously to analyze Jpiter through different sensors, providing data that allow us to draw a more complete picture of what is happening in the planet's atmosphere.
By this time, thanks to the articulation of functionalities established between the three points, the observatory can identify phenomena, in detail, in an area 500 kilometers long. The laboratory explains that, on a land scale, this would be the same as detecting the headlights of a car in Miami, from New York.