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When you image Jupiter, you possibly see a planet with orange and reddish bands and the popular Excellent Red Spot staring at you like a giant eye. 

But did you know these popular bands are ever-altering in size, colour and place? Every single 4 to 5 years, Jupiter adjustments its stripes, and ever due to the fact Galileo Galilei observed them in the 17th century, scientists have wondered why.

What we do know is that every single band, consisting of clouds of ammonia and water in a hydrogen and helium atmosphere, corresponds to robust winds blowing east or west. Scientists have also linked the bands, which attain a lot more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere, to adjustments in infrared variations inside the planet. But a group of researchers has just found a different significant clue, and it all comes down to Jupiter’s magnetic field.

Connected: Jupiter, the solar system’s biggest planet (photographs)

Employing information from NASA’s Jupiter-orbiting Juno spacecraft, the group correlated the variations in the gas giant’s bands to adjustments in its magnetic field. 

“It is doable to get wavelike motions in a planetary magnetic field, which are referred to as torsional oscillations. The fascinating factor is that, when we calculated the periods of these torsional oscillations, they corresponded to the periods that you see in the infrared radiation on Jupiter,” study co-author Chris Jones, a professor in the College of Maths at the University of Leeds in England, stated in a statement.

As it goes in the science globe, this discovery produces even a lot more mysteries. 

“There stay uncertainties and queries, specifically how specifically the torsional oscillation produces the observed infrared variation, which most likely reflects the complicated dynamics and cloud/aerosol reactions. These will need a lot more analysis,” study lead author Kumiko Hori, formerly of the University of Leeds and at the moment of Kobe University in Japan, stated in the exact same statement. 

“Nonetheless, I hope our paper could also open a window to probe the hidden deep interior of Jupiter, just like seismology does for the Earth and helioseismology does for the sun,” Hori stated.

The team’s analysis was published on Could 18 in the journal Nature Astronomy.

Adhere to Stefanie Waldek on Twitter @StefanieWaldek. Adhere to us @Spacedotcom, or on Facebook and Instagram.

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