NASA Brings New Info about How Much Water Jupiter Has

Jupiter is, without a doubt, among the unique cosmic objects from our solar system. The gas giant plays a fundamental role in protecting our planet from dangerous asteroids that are roaming around. Being thousands of times bigger than Earth, Jupiter has a much stronger gravitational pull that attracts most of the “unwanted guests”.

NASA’s Juno mission has started in 2011 and began conducting studies of Jupiter in 2016. Researchers have used data from several flybys of the probe in order to determine the amount of water from Jupiter’s atmosphere and equator.

More water at the equator

Cheng Li, who is a Juno scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, shed some light upon the mystery:

We found the water in the equator to be greater than what the Galileo probe measured,

Because the equatorial region is very unique at Jupiter, we need to compare these results with how much water is in other regions.

The data collected by using Juno’s flybys reveal that 0.25% of the molecules in Jupiter’s atmosphere from the equator contain water. This doesn’t necessarily mean liquid water as it exists abundantly on Earth, but the containing elements of water that are extremely common in the Universe: hydrogen and oxygen.

Scott Bolton, the main investigator of Juno at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, suggests that in the case of Jupiter, we should always expect new discoveries.

NASA’s Galileo mission explored Jupiter’s atmosphere in the 1990s, and scientists had the same curiosity of finding out how much water there is on the gas giant’s atmosphere. Unfortunately, the data provided by the probe of how much water there is on Jupiter’s atmosphere is not accurate enough. The spacecraft crashed into the planet, being pulled in by the tremendous gravitational force.

The study was published recently in the journal Nature Astronomy.

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