“energetic hydrogen, oxygen and sulfur ions moving at almost light speed”
A value in electronvolts would have been nice.
It's at least 150 years old, one-and-a-half Earths wide, reaches 300 km (around 200 miles) into Jupiter's atmosphere – and now, thanks to data from the Juno probe, NASA's offering the chance to take a virtual dive into the famous Great Red Spot. When it made its first pass over the vast super-storm in July 2017, one of the …
Seems curious that such activity is not happening all over the gas giant's surface. Given that Jupiter has no solid surface, it should be a continuous supervolcano in all directions. But no, apparently it is only happening at one location. I wonder how the boffins are going to be able to explain that.
No KNOWN solid surface. There might be one down there at huge pressure. We have ice volcanoes, a moon with a thick atmosphere, mountains, rivers, lakes and rain, a giant volcano which touches space and a planet that rolls around an axis on the plane of the ecliptic. Some sort of volcano inside Jupiter cannot be ruled out.
Note at the pressures at depth most metals will be sold. Earth has an iron core so Jupiter could have one too. I'm sure a hot iron volcano would do the job.
500K? yeah, that's kinda surprising. what's the energy source for that kind of heat?
it also legitimizes the possibility of liquid water and/or some kind of life in the vicinity of "the spot", like bacteria that live near (but not in) underwater volcanos...
"Earth has an iron core so Jupiter could have one too"
Well, Jupiter's magnetic field suggests SOMETHING like that. But I think it may be an ice core, since Jupiter is like a 'failed star' in a lot of ways. If it had been a real star, it probably would've gone 'bang' and shed most things that weren't hydrogen, early on. Instead, it has a lot of hydrocarbons, and probably oxygen as well, though it would've combined with the hydrogen like it did with the carbon, and now you'd have water at the core [as ice or super-compressed liquid].
At least, that's how _I_ see it. Being "that deep" it probably wouldn't show up on a spectrometer, either, just like we only recently found out about the 500k temperatures at the bottom of the red spot.
also Jupiter emits RF radiation, and has a very powerful magnetic field. So there's _something_ going on down there... and an 'ice' (or super-compressed liquid water, more accurately) core that rotates differently from the rapidly spinning planet COULD create one, as water is slightly polarized, and related to hydrogen bonding and all of that. Otherwise you need molten iron and/or nickel, which is considerably hotter.
(one more thing, with 'that many' moons, Jupiter has a LOT of tidal forces on whatever might be down there, particularly a solid+liquid ice core, and that could be 'an energy source', maybe even enough for the 500K temperature under 'the spot')
I am always amazed at the accomplishments of JPL. I recall their comment about one of the first probes to reach Jupiter. They said that the computer was running slowly because the unexpected intensity of the radiation was flipping bits in the active registers which slowed down the computer. Mind you, it still worked as intended - just slower. Try flipping bits randomly in your chosen computer and see what happens.
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