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No storm on Earth lasts like the one on Jupiter

  1. Nov 2, 2006 #1
    Hi! I'm new to Physics Forums and even thought i can't say I know much, I'm interrested at learnig new things. I'm also doing my best to practice my english. I've read you rules and trying to get familiar with them..

    Here it goes.

    I have a question I hope to post in the right Sub-Forum... We all know that energy itself is not created.. But transmitted. I've heard a report on CBC radio on Jupiter. We all know the big strom on it thats looks like an eye.. But where does it takes his energy from? No strom on Earth lasts like the one on Jupiter.. I thought that the "Big eye" steals (in a manner of speaking) energy on the thousands other little storms on the planet. Is it a resonable explanation? I mean if so, My question becomes.. Where does the little storms energy comes from? On Earth.. Most of it comes from the Sun.. Friction between clouds and many other things...

    Oh well I hope you Understand my ideas
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2006 #2
    My understanding: Yes, the storm (2D) takes its energy from smaller storms (whereas in 3D it works the other way, "..so on to viscosity").

    And the little storms' energy? Why would that be different than on Earth?
  4. Nov 2, 2006 #3
    Maybe because the planet's atmosphere is made from different gases and/or the planet is completly covered with clouds.. Water makes coulds possible on Earth, altrought, Jupiter is mostly a gas planet.. Has for friction of clouds, those clouds are moving for thousands of years now. So it takes another form of energy to do that.. again.
  5. Nov 2, 2006 #4
    Don't quite see your problem. The wind has blown around Earth for thousands of years..
  6. Nov 2, 2006 #5


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    Bigger planet, bigger storms.
  7. Nov 2, 2006 #6


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    Jupiter radiates more heat than it receives from the Sun. Its core is very hot and very active from gravitational compression.

    From The Nine Planets:
    "Jupiter's atmosphere was also found to be quite turbulent. This indicates that Jupiter's winds are driven in large part by its internal heat rather than from solar input as on Earth. "

    "Jupiter radiates more energy into space than it receives from the Sun. The interior of Jupiter is hot: the core is probably about 20,000 K. The heat is generated by the Kelvin-Helmholtz mechanism, the slow gravitational compression of the planet. (Jupiter does NOT produce energy by nuclear fusion as in the Sun; it is much too small and hence its interior is too cool to ignite nuclear reactions.) This interior heat probably causes convection deep within Jupiter's liquid layers and is probably responsible for the complex motions we see in the cloud tops."
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2006
  8. Nov 3, 2006 #7


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    not to mention there are no land forms to slow down the storm (e.g., hurricanes on Earth peeter out after they make land fall)
  9. Nov 3, 2006 #8
    So.. At the beginning.. It was worse? I mean.. Those storms can't last eternally.. But i'm suprosed they lasts so long!

    Good point Phobos.
  10. Nov 3, 2006 #9
    ...and more energy in the planet....Also energy is being constantly emitted to Jupiter by the sun so I guess it could work like hurricanes do on earth.
  11. Nov 3, 2006 #10
    I did some more reasearch and i found that the latest results from NASA's Galileo spacecraft reveal that these storms are powered in a completely different way from terrestrial thunderstorms. I also found that the violent storms on Jupiter are driven by the immense heat from the core...

    My guess is?

    The storms develop and drop rain; the raindrops evaporate prior to reaching Jupiter's core heat-source, and rise again as water vapour that convect upwards to start the next round of storms. A Quasi-continous (is that it?) cycle..

  12. Nov 4, 2006 #11
    We don't actually know what's happening in the core of Jupiter, afaik. It could be analoguous to the Earthly core. ie. The middle is some molten metal or something that burns, like helium, and that radiates energy from the center of Jupiter. Also, there *is* an outside source in there. The Sun.

    It radiates, and heats irregularly the planet, which results in irregular temperature of the gas, creating winds, much like on Earth. Aiding that, is the (geothermic?) phenomena which radiates energy from Jupiter, as said above.

    My 2cents.
  13. Nov 4, 2006 #12
    Jupiter lies five times further from the Sun than the Earth, so it receives much less solar heat.

    As we said erlier, Jupiter's core is extremely hot. It still retains heat from the planet's original formation by "collapse and compression of the planet's huge gaseous bulk" (http://www.firstscience.com/SITE/ARTICLES/cornell.asp) You will find here what i found :P .... Buuuttt.... Is could still be some Jupitarians running around singing.....
  14. Nov 4, 2006 #13


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    It is important to remember that the concepts of "liquid" and "gas" do not apply well to Jupiter. There is a presure/density gradient, but no distinct difference between liquid and gas portions of the planet.
  15. Nov 5, 2006 #14
    So you could have another explenation? That would be great...:)
  16. Nov 5, 2006 #15


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    It was late when I wrote that, so it wasn't very descriptive....

    Also, there is not much water or water vapor on Jupiter - it is almost all hydrogen and helium. (99.93%).

    The wind patterns are just what happens when you get convection on a rotating body. We had a thread here a couple of months ago where someone asked about the wind on Jupiter and I found a couple of nice links that show just how similar the wind patterns on Jupiter are to those on Earth: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=131672&highlight=jupiter

    While there isn't water vapor driving the convection like in hurricanes on earth, they are likely pretty similar otherwise and all the factors discussed above (bigger planet/bigger convection patterns, no land to disrupt the "storms", etc.) are good explanations for how they work.
  17. Nov 5, 2006 #16
    Well I wroted "Water Vapor" more for an example than a fact.. Don't forget that my english is quite bad :P Sorry. But Don't forget my main point. ( Huge energy.... lasts long... And the fact that there is one main storm in a continous cycle "at the same place"(manner of speaking) And that, even thought its very similar to Earth, dosen't quite happen here.)

    Here is what we have now. Based on everything that has been said here.

    We spoke about the fact that the planet is bigger so it makes bigger storms and about the energy that fuels them. We know and said many times here that Jupiter has a very hot core.

    Don't forget that "the latest results from NASA's Galileo spacecraft reveal that these storms are powered in a completely different way from terrestrial thunderstorms." (http://www.firstscience.com/SITE/ARTICLES/cornell.asp says here also). This keeps giving me more and more questions.

    "There is a presure/density gradient, but no distinct difference between liquid and gas portions of the planet." this does defenitly affects the storms. Does this makes them lasts longer? Does the fact that different elements in the atmosphere plays a role in that "eye"?

    I spoke with my friend Neohaven the other day and he also talk about his ideas : Maybe there is a hole on Jupiter. Again.. more and more questions. (A hole COULD mean a big energy loss)

    The different layers on Jupiter don't go all the the same sens. It makes friction between the clouds. Does that supposed to slow them down? Even thought it "makes" energy by friction.. Oh well.

    We talked alot about how it recieves energy and of course.. that was also in the main question. And i'm pretty satisfied with all the replies about that :biggrin: ! After the storms where does it goes :P maybe thats why they lasts so long :P

    Don't forget these are only ideas based on facts and what you said. I love asking myself questions :smile:

  18. Nov 6, 2006 #17


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    What is this word 'sens'? I've seen it elsewhere in similar discussions about pressure. It is not an English word.

    The energy is dissipated into the rest of the atmosphere. Remember, the stoms and other turbulence are caused by a difference in temperature/pressure, etc. Once two masses of atmo are in equilibrium, no more turbulence. Only a small amount of energy is lost to space.
  19. Nov 6, 2006 #18
    Exactly! that was my point! :P

    I'm sorry :S "sens" is the french word for "sense" Bad english! Bad! lol
  20. Nov 7, 2006 #19


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    That's no help.

    "The different layers on Jupiter don't go all the the same sens."

    This phrase (even with the translation for sense) is nonsense.
  21. Nov 7, 2006 #20
    Oh uhm.. You know.. those color lines in the atmosphere..The clouds. They don't rotate in the same direction. (Hope its better)

    In french we would have understood that. Sorry again!
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