Researchers have discovered chemical signatures of water deep beneath the surface of Jupiter's Great Red Spot. The results support the early hypothesis on the surface of Jupiter and provide strong evidence that the planet has abundant water in its atmosphere.
The gas giant Jupiter was always a mystery to scientists. The planet's atmosphere is full of dense and swirling clouds, making it difficult for researchers to look into them and determine their composition. In 1995, NASA's historic Galileo spacecraft plunged into Jupiter's atmosphere and found that Jupiter was much drier than expected.
"The moons orbiting Jupiter are mostly water-ice, so the whole area has a lot of water," said NASA astrophysicist Gordon L. Bjoraker. "Why should the planet ̵
Using modern spectroscopic technology, researchers peered deeply into Jupiter's atmosphere and found evidence of water in the atmosphere's deepest cloud layer of Great Red Spot. Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot is a massive storm that has been swirling across the planet's sky for at least 150 years. In the 19th century, the Great Red Spot was more than two meters wide.
"Jupiter is a gas giant that contains more than twice the mass of all other planets combined, and although 99 percent of the Jupiter atmosphere is hydrogen and helium, even solar water fractions on a planet would produce a lot of water – much more water than here on earth. "Clemson University astrophysicist Máté Ádámkovics
Researchers used two ground-based telescope instruments to detect water signatures in the red dot's atmosphere iSHELL instrument is installed at the NASA's infrared telescope facility and can detect a wide range of gases over the color spectrum. The spectrograph is part of the Keck 2 Telescope, which is the Earth's most sensitive infrared telescope.
The observations suggest that Jupiter has three cloud layers in its Great Red Spot: the upper layer is ammonia and the middle is ammonia. It is believed that the deepest of the three cloud layers is made up of water ice and liquid water.
"The discovery of water on Jupiter with the help of our tec Hnique is important in many ways and our current study focused on the red stain, but future projects will be able to estimate how much water exists on the entire planet," said Ádámkovics "Where the potential is for liquid water, the possibility of a life can not be completely ruled out." Although it seems very unlikely, life on Jupiter is not beyond our imagination. "