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About Jupiter

by Reta Beebe

The thing I find most fascinating is that the more I learn about this planet the more it's like the earth, and it seems so much unlike the earth. Here's a planet (where) two thirds as much energy is coming from below the clouds as is coming in from the sun so that this atmosphere is being heated from above and below. In the case of the earth's atmosphere, the sunlight -- a lot of it does come through and hit the surface and so it is bottom-heated. So the processes that go on are much more similar than you might think. The other thing that I have found, as I have worked on Jupiter, is that although I can't see what's happening down below it obviously strongly influences how the winds blow, how these large storms are maintained, and that sort of thing.

And when we attempt to study the earth's atmosphere we have the same thing with the oceans. Recently we have become aware of El Nino, major upwellings, and how it totally modifies the climate of the earth, so the more the learn about these two (planets) the more they become similar rather than dissimilar...

Planet Advocate, Reta Beebe answers some questions about Jupiter and coments on:

Jupiter as observed by Galileo


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