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Weather on Jupiter and Saturn may be driven by different forces than on Earth

jupiter
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A trio of researchers, two with Harvard University, the other the University of Alberta, has found evidence that weather on Saturn and Jupiter may be driven by dramatically different forces than weather on Earth. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, Rakesh Kumar Yadav, Moritz Heimpel and Jeremy Bloxham describe computer simulations showing that major weather systems on Jupiter and Saturn might be driven by internal rather than external forces, resulting in outcomes such as the formation of large anticyclones like Jupiter’s famous red spot.


Weather on Earth is primarily driven by processes that take place in a thin layer of the atmosphere near the planet’s surface. For many years, it has been thought that similar processes drive weather on other planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn. In this new effort, the researchers demonstrate that such theories may be wrong.

The work involved creating

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How, When And Where You Can See Mars, Jupiter, Saturn And A Crescent Moon With Your Naked Eyes

There are few more exquisite sights in all of nature than a slim crescent Moon glistening in twilight. 

Watching our barely-there natural satellite in space sink towards the horizon is a monthly highlight that happens next week, but this time it’s going to be something special. 

MORE FROM FORBESWhat Are Those Three Bright ‘Stars’ Visible At Dusk Each Night? This Is What You’re Seeing

That’s because in the southwestern sky just after sunset, Jupiter and Saturn will also be coming out to play. While you’re delighting at that triumvirate, look southeast and you’ll find Mars. 

Don’t take these planets for granted for soon enough they’ll all be gone from the night sky for many, many months. 

Here’s exactly when and where

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NASA’s ‘Juno’ Spacecraft At Jupiter Wraps Up Another Spectacular Orbit Of The ‘Blue Planet’

Who knew Jupiter was blue? 

The giant planet often depicted as being orange and having a “Great Red Spot” storm is once again revealed to be a pale blueish planet in the latest spectacular images received from space. 

The latest images from NASA’s Juno spacecraft —surely one of its most prolific ever launched—include spectacular close-ups of cyclones, vortices and swirls in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere. 

The images, taken by its wide-angle JunoCam instrument, were received from 511 million miles/822 million kilometers via NASA’s Deep Space Network and then made available to the public.

All of these images included here

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This Week Jupiter Aligns With Saturn. What Happens Next Will Be A Once-In-A-Lifetime Sky Event

What is that bright “star?”

If you look to the south anytime after dark this season you’ll see a very bright object in the night sky. It’s Jupiter. Look 5° to its left (so to the south-east) and you’ll see the much dimmer sight of Saturn. These giant planets have been dominating the post-sunset sky for much of 2020, and after reaching their super-bright oppositions (July 14, 2020 for Jupiter and July 20, 2020 for Saturn) they are now past their best. 

Both of the Solar System’s giant planets will be gone from the night sky by Christmas, but before they do, they will stage one last dazzling finale in the form of the “Great Conjunction 2020” on Monday, December 21, 2020.  

MORE FROM FORBESWhat’s That Really Bright ‘Star’ In The Night Sky?

On the the exact date

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Where were Jupiter and Saturn born?

Where were Jupiter and Saturn born?
New work led by Carnegie’s Matt Clement reveals the likely original locations of Saturn and Jupiter. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.

New work led by Carnegie’s Matt Clement reveals the likely original locations of Saturn and Jupiter. These findings refine our understanding of the forces that determined our Solar System’s unusual architecture, including the ejection of an additional planet between Saturn and Uranus, ensuring that only small, rocky planets, like Earth, formed inward of Jupiter.


In its youth, our Sun was surrounded by a rotating disk of gas and dust from which the planets were born. The orbits of early formed planets were thought to be initially close-packed and circular, but gravitational interactions between the larger objects perturbed the arrangement and caused the baby giant planets to rapidly reshuffle, creating the configuration we see today.

“We now know that there are thousands of planetary systems in our Milky Way galaxy alone,”

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NASA spacecraft captures new, bright, electrical flashes on Jupiter

  • NASA’s Juno spacecraft discovered that Jupiter’s atmosphere produces lightning-like electrical outbursts called transient luminous events.
  • On Earth, these colorful lights occur during thunderstorms, when lightning strikes produce red tendrils called “sprites” or glowing disks called “elves” high above the clouds.
  • Scientists predicted that Jupiter would have sprites and elves too, since it has lightning — but nobody had captured these alien flashes of light until now.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft just captured images of colorful bursts of lightning-like electricity high in Jupiter’s atmosphere.

These phenomena — jellyfish-shaped “sprites” and glowing disks called “elves” — also occur high up in Earth’s atmosphere during thunderstorms. They were first documented in 1989. Scientists predicted that other planets that have lightning, like Jupiter, would also produce these transient luminous events.

But nobody had ever seen alien sprites or elves until now.

Juno has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016

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Look up! The moon will pay Jupiter and Saturn a visit tonight

Skywatchers will be treated to an eye-catching gathering in the south-southwest sky about an hour after sunset on Thursday (Oct. 22) — a large triangle formed by the moon and two bright “superior” planets.  

A superior planet is one that is located in an orbit around the sun that is beyond that of Earth. The planets in question are Jupiter and Saturn, which have attracted the attention of skywatchers all through the summer and early fall.

Of course, these close alignments are merely an illusion of perspective. Our moon is much closer in space to us than is either Jupiter or Saturn. As it orbits Earth, the moon moves in an easterly direction across the sky at roughly its own apparent diameter (0.5 degrees) each hour, or approximately 12 degrees per day. (Your clenched fist held at arm’s length covers about 10 degrees of sky.) 

Currently, Jupiter and Saturn

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