From auroras, great red spot to water, 5 biggest mysteries of Jupiter | Tech News

From auroras, great red spot to water, 5 biggest mysteries of Jupiter

Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, has so many mysteries that it is no mean feat to unearth all of them. Check out the top 5 mysteries of Jupiter.

| Updated on: Jan 02 2023, 07:07 IST
Top NASA tech that solved Mars myths and mysteries like never before
1/10 Humans have been studying Mars for hundred of years. In 1609, Galileo was the first person to peer through a telescope and get a more intimate image of what many could only have dreamed of. (Pixabay)
2/10 An up close and personal view of the red planet emerged as time progressed and so did the capabilities of telescopes. In fact, from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s, many astronomers believed that Mars was home to majestic seas and lush areas of vegetation. The Dark markings on Mars surface were once believed to be caused by vegetation growing and dying. (Pixabay)
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3/10 Some even believed that intelligent life existed on Mars just because of what they saw through their simple telescopes. But that is exactly was science is about-you make educated guesses based on what you know, then change your ideas based on what you learn. (NASA)
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4/10 Now, thanks to new sophisticated equipment and robotic visits to Mars, it turns out they were caused by Martian wind. It was not until the 1960s, when NASA's Mariner missions flew by and snapped pictures of Mars that many of the myths about the red planet were dispelled. (NASA)
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5/10 That does not make Mars any less interesting. The possibility that life actually existed once on Mars is still a distinct possibility. Or it may even be existing on Mars today! No, not in the form of little green men, but on a microbial level. (NASA)
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6/10 Now, taking pictures is great and all. But nothing is better than getting to know the real thing. So, to get a better feel of Mars, Scientists and engineers built some nifty technologies, from spacecrafts to reach Mars and rovers (vehicles) to actually trundle and explore the planet. (NASA/JPL)
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7/10 Among the earliest tech deployed for Mars was Phoenix. It was launched on August 4, 2007 and so began its 9-month long, 681 Million km journey to the legendary red planet. Now, landing on a planet is not as easy as simply dropping a spacecraft onto it. There is actually a lot of steps to the process. (NASA)
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8/10 On May 25, 2008, Phoenix entered Mars atmosphere. It used its heat shield to slow down the high speed entry of 5600 meters per second or around 12500 miles per hour. It released a supersonic PARACHUTE, then detached from its parachute and used its rocket engines to land safely on the planet's surface. Phoenix' landing spot was further north and closer to the ice covered poles than any spacecraft has ever been before. (NASA)
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9/10 Phoenix had two primary goals: One was to study the history of water in the Martian arctic and the other was to search for evidence of a habitual zone and assess the biological potential of the ice soil boundary. And to do that the spacecraft was packed full of gizmos and gadgets to perform all sets of experiments and tests. One of these gizmos was a robotic arm with a shovel attached. It was used to dig up samples of the martian soil for experiments! (NASA)
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10/10 Another top tech on the Mars surface was the Surface Stereo Imager, which is really just a fancy name for the camera. Three surface stereo imagers were Phoenix' eye. Engineers built the device with two optical lenses that would allow for a three dimensional view, just like our eyes. And the SSI sent back some amazing images of the martian landscape. (Source: NASA/Justin Tully) (NASA)
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Jupiter is also called a Gas Giant due to the presence of enormous amounts of various gases in its atmosphere. (NASA Juno)

Jupiter is the fifth planet in the solar system and it is by far the biggest one. In fact, it is twice as big as all the other planets in our solar system combined. Whenever scientists have observed Jupiter, they have been shocked to find mysteries in the planet, dating back to 1610 when Galileo Galilei found the first Moons beyond Earth. Jupiter is also known as the Gas Giant due to a dense atmosphere of hydrogen and helium with windy clouds of ammonia.

The planet has also been harboring various natural phenomena. Jupiter's iconic Great Red Spot is a giant storm bigger than Earth that has raged for hundreds of years. The planet's mysteries, and there are many, have been a topic of debate amongst the scientific community for a long time. Know about the top 5 mysteries of Jupiter.

1. Presence of water

Water has been present in abundance on Jupiter, though not in the form which can be harvested. According to a report by the Southwest Research Institute, water came to Jupiter by hitchhiking on comets or asteroids during the early years of the planet. NASA's Juno Mission has reported that water takes up to 0.25 percent of atmospheric molecules over the planet's equator.

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2. Jupiter's structural makeup

What's even more baffling is Jupiter's structural makeup. The planet consists of 90 percent hydrogen which exists in the outer layers. According to a 2011 NASA feature, the core of the planet consists of hydrogen liquid which has formed due to hydrogen being under extreme pressure, forcing the electrons out. This mysterious liquid conducts electricity just like metal would.

3. The Great Red Spot

Jupiter's Great Red Spot is a mysterious storm vortex that has been plaguing the planet for hundreds of years. Observations by NASA's Juno spacecraft have given fascinating insight into the planet and have revealed that storms indeed exist even thousands of kilometers within the planet's surface!

4. Auroras

Not only Earth, but Auroras have been seen on planets like Jupiter too. NASA's James Webb Space Telescope recently revealed images showing Auroras are visible near the Northern and Southern poles of the planet. Though it is still unclear how auroras are formed on the gas giant.

5. Existence of life?

While it is known that Jupiter itself cannot support life, its Moons potentially could one day. Scientists have even revealed that one of Jupiter's moons called Europa has even more water on Earth! To study that, NASA's Juno probe has frequently conducted close flybys with the moon, capturing the icy surface and sending images back.

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First Published Date: 02 Jan, 07:07 IST