Surface storms can tell us what's going on in the planets' interiors.
Jupiter is known for its raging storms, none perhaps more famous than the Great Red Spot. This vortex has been sweeping across the planet for hundreds of years.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
But new research published in the journal Science Advances suggests that the weather on Jupiter and Saturn is driven by processes deep beneath the surface.
International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA M.H. Wong (UC Berkeley) and team Acknowledgments: Mahdi Zamani.
The study suggests that the two planets' tumultuous surface storms and jet streams are generated by processes thousands of kilometers beneath their surfaces.
The new study also suggests Jupiter’s Great Red Spot formed when the planet’s dynamo region, a layer where electrical conductivity generates magnetic fields, lead to the formation of large anticyclones — when the wind goes clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.