Astronomy Essay

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Joseph Lupoli Ast 101-02 14 April 2013 Week 10 Chapter 11 3. The planet's flattened shape allows astronomers to infer the presence of a large rocky core in its interior. Jupiter displays differential rotation—because the planet has no solid surface, the rotation rate varies from place to place in the atmosphere. Measurements of radio emission from Jupiter’s magnetosphere provide a measure of the planet’s interior rotation rate. 6. The Great Red Spot is a great anti-cyclonic (high pressure) storm akin to a hurricane on Earth, but it is enormous (three Earths would fit within its boundaries) and it has persisted for at least the 400 years that humans have observed it through telescopes. Since it is anti-cyclonic in Jupiter's Southern hemisphere, the rotation is counterclockwise, with a period of about 6 days. A hurricane in Earth's Southern hemisphere rotates clockwise because it is a low pressure system. The clouds associated with the Spot appear to be about 8 km above neighboring cloud tops. 7. The colors of Jupiter’s atmosphere are created when different chemicals reflect the Sun’s light. Most of Jupiter is hydrogen and helium, but the top of its clouds are composed of ammonia crystals, with trace amounts of water ice and droplets, and possibly ammonium hydrosulfide. Powerful storms on Jupiter are created by the planet’s convection. That allows the storms to bring material, such as phosphorus, sulfur and hydrocarbons, from closer to the planet’s core to the tops of the clouds, causing the white, brown, and red spots that we see dotting the Jovian atmosphere. White spots appear to be cool storms, brown are warm, and red are hot storms. 8. The gases that comprise the Jupiter atmosphere are simply retained due to its gravitational influence. Jupiter is a vast planet with colossal size; which thus allows it to closely grasp whatever it holds (i.e., Gases,

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