On Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, the last few years there have been significant changes, according to a new study.
Huge zone in the atmosphere changed color, sources of radiation on the surface of the gas giant goes out and re-lit, and the layers of the clouds became thicker then dissolved, and all this against a background of crashing into the planet of space objects, astronomers say.
A team of scientists from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), led by Glenn Orton conducted observations of Jupiter in the infrared range from 2009 to 2012 and compared their results with images in visible light, made by amateur astronomers.
Astronomers have previously observed that, from 2009 to 2011. large brown belt, located just south of the equator of the planet, which is called the South Equatorial belt, disappeared and reappeared. And along this belt team observed infrared source, disappeared from 2010 to 2011. and newly launched in June 2012 During this period, the researchers also observed a thickening layer of clouds in the northern zone, while cloud layers southern belt first compacted and then clear up.
In addition, in the last four years there were an increasing number of collisions of space objects with Jupiter than before. At least three space object the size of just less than 15 meters in diameter hit the gas giant's atmosphere, creating a flash of fire, visible to observers on Earth.
The study was presented recently at a meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society in Reno, Nevada.