For the first time since the mission of NASA “Voyager” which spacecrafts flew by by Jupiter in far 1979 scientists could receive maps of this huge planet in distant infrared area of a range, using for this purpose observatory plane of NASA of Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA. These cards were created during studying by researchers of circulation of gases in the atmosphere of this gas giant.
Infrared observations supply with the information on the planet which can’t be received in case of observations in other lengths of waves. In case of observations of gas planets, such as Jupiter, in visible light (see the image first at the left on a photo) it is possible to see only light reflected from the upper layer of clouds of the atmosphere. Use of observations in the Infrared range allows scientists “to glance” for clouds and to consider deep layers of the atmosphere, observing circulation of gases in them.
In a new research team of scientists under the leadership of Li N. Fletcher (Leigh N. Fletcher) from Leicester University, Great Britain, made observations of Jupiter by means of the camera Faint Object infraRed Camera of observatory SOFIA known as FORCAST. The analysis of the made pictures (the first on the right and central images on a photo) revealed a number of interesting features of a structure of the atmosphere of Jupiter. So, the cold, red spot in the southern hemisphere of the planet specifies the ascending gas flow cooling the atmosphere. The structure of belts of the planet, close to the equator, shows that on the line of the equator the atmosphere of Jupiter cold, and to the North and to the South from it warm belts with the descending flows of gases are located. Heating of the atmosphere a yupiteriansky polar light in northern subpolar areas of the planet specifies presence of methane and ethane at a stratosphere.