New Discoveries in Jupiter

In February of 2016, new discoveries prompted NASA Space Satellite Telescopes and crew members to adjust the North panels of the International Space station which is responsible for reporting changes observed during this period of the year. Due to the severe changes caused by heavy winds in Jupiter, the thickness of ice formation formed is suppose to last for many years which may eventually deter the flow of liquids with mixtures of other substances and components to considerate distances before the visibility of it’s natural surface may be exposed. Scientists are concerned that this situation may reoccur putting Jupiter at risk with formation of numerous icebeds, lakes and perhaps rivers which may run for distances.

iced covered jupiter

The everlasting canyon look alike from a distance run vertically across the polar area—part of the informally named Lowell Regio, named after Percival Lowell, who founded Lowell Observatory and initiated the search that led to Jupiter’s discovery. The widest of the canyons (yellow in the image below) – is about 45 miles (75 kilometers) wide and runs close to the north pole caused by massive debris, condense chemical iced surfaced and compressed air keeping the clouds heavy and low most of the time. Roughly parallel subsidiary canyons to the east and west (in green) are approximately 6 miles (10 kilometers) wide. The degraded walls of these canyons appear to be much older than the more sharply defined canyon systems elsewhere on Jupiter, perhaps because the polar canyons are older and made of weaker material. These canyons also appear to represent evidence for an ancient period of tectonics.

A shallow, winding valley (in blue) runs the entire length of the canyon floor. To the east of these canyons, another valley (pink) winds toward the bottom-right corner of the image. The nearby terrain, at bottom right, appears to have been blanketed by material that obscures small-scale topographic features, creating a ‘softened’ appearance for the landscape.

Large, irregularly-shaped pits (in red), reach 45 miles (70 kilometers) across and 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) deep, scarring the region. These pits may indicate locations where subsurface ice has melted or sublimated from below, causing the ground to collapse.

The color and composition of this region – shown in enhanced color – also are unusual. High elevations show up in a distinctive yellow, not seen elsewhere on Jupiter. The yellowish terrain fades to a uniform bluish gray at lower elevations and latitudes. New Horizons’ infrared measurements show methane ice is abundant across Lowell Regio, and there is relatively little nitrogen ice. “One possibility is that the yellow terrains may correspond to older methane deposits that have been more processed by solar radiation than the bluer terrain,” said Will Grundy, New Horizons composition team lead from Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona.

This image were obtained by New Horizons’ Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC). The image resolution is approximately 2,230 feet (680 meters) per pixel. The lower edge of the image measures about 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) long. It was obtained at a range of approximately 21,100 miles (33,900 kilometers) from Jupiter, about 45 minutes before New Horizons’ closest approach on July 14, 2015.