Jupiter's high temperature explained

However, recent studies show that it generates its heat from the Great Red Spot.

Aaron Sims | Aug 14, 2016

Jupiter is almost five times further from the sun than the earth is. In essence, it should be a colder planet. However, Jupiter is the third hottest planet following Venues and Mercury, measuring an average temperature of 1700 degrees Celsius.

Scientists led by Dr. O'Donoghue first thought that reason was that the biggest planet's large size allows it to absorb the sun's heat in a more efficient way. However, recent studies show that it generates its heat from the Great Red Spot. The GRS is a permanent storm on Jupiter's surface that is almost twice the size of the Earth.

It is caused by acoustic waves and magnetic forces which cause the constant swirling of the storm. However, until recently scientist did not know how hot this storm is. But by using the SpeX instrument at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) on Mauna Kea Mountain in Hawaii, they noted that the area is 1,330 degrees Celsius.

"Changes in density around the Great Red Spot will shoot waves in all directions," O'Donoghue added. "We believe that acoustic waves are the majority of the heating cause because gravity waves tend to ship their energy across the planet, rather than vertically up like acoustic waves."

The scientist explained that the primary reason for the heat was the storm's anticlockwise rotation as opposed to the atmosphere's clockwise motion. This creates pressure points that result in a large generation of heat. After this massive discovery, the team is looking at a way to implement this study to help aid in the earth's energy crisis.

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