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Jupiter in opposition, never this close to Earth in 59 years

2022-09-26T14:28:58.180Z

This evening Jupiter will reach opposition to the Sun, and will therefore be in an optimal position to be admired from the Earth. An event that occurs every 13 months, but which this time occurs at the same time as another much rarer: the giant planet will, in fact, be at its minimum distance from Earth in 59 years, about 590 million kilometers (ANSA)



This evening Jupiter will reach opposition to the Sun, and will therefore be in an optimal position to be admired from the Earth.

An event that occurs every 13 months, but this time it happens at the same time as another much rarer: the giant planet will, in fact, be at its minimum distance from Earth in 59 years, about 590 million kilometers.

Tonight, therefore, Jupiter and its main moons will also be visible with binoculars, while a telescope will be needed to capture more details.


But viewers on Earth are not the only ones to observe the planet with interest: NASA's Juno probe, in fact, has been in orbit around Jupiter since 2016 and has already provided incredible images and data on its turbulent atmosphere.

An example of this are the cyclones surrounding the two poles of the giant planet, which are still a mystery.

A study led by the US Institute of Technology of California (Caltech), which was also attended by Italian researchers from the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI), tries to shed some light on the question.

The study, published in the journal Nature Astronomy, used data collected by Juno to try to explain the extraordinary resilience of these cyclones, which have remained unchanged since observations began.


The images sent by the spacecraft show a central cyclone exactly above each of the two poles, surrounded by other cyclones, eight for the North Pole and five for the South Pole, forming a regular structure that appears to remain unchanged.

This is an unknown behavior on Earth, where cyclones form, travel and dissipate within a short time.

Researchers led by Andrew Ingersoll looked specifically at wind speed and direction, suggesting that what holds cyclones in place may be an 'anticyclonic ring' of winds moving in the opposite direction to that of cyclones.

Source: ansa

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