The gas giant Jupiter is known to have sudden storms and strong winds. But how fast can these winds be? Scientists think they are fast enough to erode any hypothetical buildings or settlements if there were any on the planet. According to the latest research, winds on the gas planet can blow at a speed of 900mph (1448.41 km/ph). These storms are wider than any could be on Earth with heights reaching up to 560 miles (900km).
The study was conducted by a team of astronomers from Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Bordeaux. They observed molecules left behind by the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet in the planet’s stratosphere (which hit Jupiter in 1994).Bilal Benmahi, associated with the study, called the 900 km vortexes a “unique meteorological beast in our Solar System.”
According to European Southern Observatory, the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimeter Array (ALMA) was used in this study to determine the nitty-gritty of Jupiter storms. If you’ve ever seen images of Jupiter, you may have noted distinct red and white bands on the surface. These are swirling clouds of moving gas that help astronomers track winds in Jupiter’s lower atmosphere. The stronger winds near poles produce some vivid glows called aurorae and help in tracking winds of the upper atmosphere.
However, the wind speeds in the middle layer i.e. the stratosphere had never been measured before as there are no clouds or other material to help with tracking. Now, with the help of Shoemaker-Levy 9 cometcollision, left molecules that have been moving along the stratosphere winds since the 1990s they could track the speeds. One of these molecules is hydrogen cyanide which helped in measuring stratospheric “jets” on Jupiter.
“The most spectacular result is the presence of strong jets, with speeds of up to 400 metres per second, which are located under the aurorae near the poles,” said Dr Thibault Cavalié, author of the study from the Laboratoire.
Keywords:wind speed of Jupiter, storms on Jupiter, storms on Jupiter poles, 900mph wind speed, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Bordeaux study, Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet collision