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Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown Wikenigma - an Encyclopaedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopaedia of the Unknown

Jupiter - atmospheric heating

The low to mid-latitudes of Jupiter's atmosphere have been found to have a temperature of around 800ºK - which is 600ºK warmer than can be accounted for by solar heating. The apparent anomaly was discovered in the mid 1970's 1) Leading astronomers to the use of the term “energy crisis” to describe the problem.

“The temperatures of giant-planet upper atmospheres at mid to low latitudes are measured to be hundreds of degrees warmer than simulations based on solar heating alone can explain. Modelling studies that focus on additional sources of heating have been unable to resolve this major discrepancy.”

Heating of Jupiter’s upper atmosphere above the Great Red Spot in Nature, July 2016

Also see (N Y Times, 27th July 2016)

“No one has quite worked out how you distribute that energy from the polar regions down to the Equator”

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Is Also Very Hot

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1) Strobel, D. F. & Smith, G. R. On the temperature of the Jovian thermosphere.J. Atmos. Sci. 30, 718–725 (1973