June 25, 2024

Hail discovery on Jupiter could solve the mystery of Uranus and Neptune

2 min read
Hail discovery on Jupiter could solve the mystery of Uranus and Neptune

Uranus and Neptune are two planets that have intrigued scientists when it comes to ammonia. Did those recent observations, made in infrared light and radio waves, show that the two planets contain less of the compound than other gas giants in the solar system. In a new study, researcher Tristan Gelo suggested that this mystery may be related to it Discover “Music Balls”and hailstones from ammonia and water formed from storms on Jupiter.

The discrepancy in the amount of ammonia detected surprised scientists, because both planets are rich in other compounds, such as methane, that were part of the A cloud of gas and dust formed planets. Therefore, the amount of ammonia may indicate that these planets formed under special conditions, from a substance that was also weak in ammonia, or another process was underway.

So Guillot turned to a recent discovery made by the science team on the Juno spacecraft, which studies Jupiter. “Juno showed that ammonia is abundant on Jupiter, but it tends to be much deeper than we expected thanks to the mushroom balls,” he explained. So he explained that what was discovered on Jupiter can also be applied to explain what was observed on Uranus and Neptune.

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Representation of a soft ball descending through a planet’s atmosphere (Image: Reproduction/NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/CNRS)

Overall, Juno’s observations showed that this ammonia-rich, muddy hail (aka “pie balls”) can form quickly during storms due to ammonia’s ability to liquefy water crystals, which can occur even at very low temperatures. Models have shown that chess balls can weigh 1 kg or more, sink and transport ammonia into the planet’s deep atmosphere, where it is trapped in the underside of Jovian clouds.

According to Guillot, thermodynamic chemistry indicates that this process occurs more efficiently on Uranus and Neptune, because the region through which the fungus balls travel is more extensive and reaches greater depths. “It is possible that ammonia is hidden deep in the atmosphere of these planets, beyond the reach of the devices we have today,” he said.

Therefore, the author believes that to determine the distance that the mushroom balls carry ammonia and water, orbits with the appropriate instruments will be required, so a dedicated mission will be required to map the atmospheric structure of these planets. “Uranus and Neptune are a unique link between giant planets, like Jupiter and Saturn, and the giant icy exoplanets that we’re discovering; we really need to go there!”

study was Available on the site From the 2021 edition of the European Planetary Science Congress.

Source: Europlanet Association

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