Jupiter and Saturn secrets REVEALED: Latest data ‘CONFOUNDS’ NASA

Juno’s job is to accelerate our understanding of the solar system’s beginnings by revealing the origin and evolution of the gas giant Jupiter. Cassini’s mission – one of the most ambitious planetary space exploration ever mounted by NASA – is orbiting the ringed planet of Saturn. Together, NASA’s Juno and Cassini spacecraft have again revolutionised our understanding of how the solar system works, scientists at the US space agency announced.

The detailed magnetic and gravity data beamed back by Jun and Cassini is “invaluable but also confounding”, according to the NASA researchers.

Professor David Stevenson, a Caltech scientist, described the data as “unlike anything we have ever seen before”, adding: “Any explanation for this has to be unorthodox.

“A successful mission is one that surprises us. Science would be boring if it merely confirmed what we previously thought.”

The NASA Cassini spacecraft spent 13 years orbiting Saturn before it made a death dive into Saturn in 2017 and Juno has been orbiting Jupiter for the past three years.

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Taken together, the research seems to challenge existing ideas about the solar system, in addition to informing future ones.

“Although there are puzzles yet to be explained, this is already clarifying some of our ideas about how planets form, how they make magnetic fields and how the winds blow,” Professor Stevenson said.

Using instruments on board Juno, for instance, NASA scientists examined microwaves to explore Saturn’s atmosphere.

The study shows that, surprisingly, the atmosphere is evenly mixed in a way they had not expected.

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“Any explanation for this has to be unorthodox,” Stevenson said.

Saturn’s unorthodox atmosphere is believed to be formed by weather events that are concentrating large amounts of ice, liquids and gas across its environment, but this remains unclear.

Other cutting-edge instruments onboard the NASA probe have beamed back cryptic data about Saturn’s gravitational and magnetic constitution.

The gas giant Jupiter seems to have unexplained spots where the magnetic field is either unusually high or low, and it is very different across the northern and southern hemisphere.

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“It’s unlike anything we have seen before,” Professor Stevenson admitted.

NASA scientists also found from gravity data from Jupiter’s core indicates it contains much heavier elements, which amount to more than 10 times Earth’s entire mass.

But these elements are not squashed into Jupiter’s centre and are instead mixed in with the hydrogen above, which is found in the form of a metallic liquid.

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And data from NASA’s Cassini and Juno has also offered fascinating new insights about the outer parts of both Jupiter and Saturn.

Although the amount of heavier elements remains unclear, the outer layers play a far greater role in the planet’s magnetic field than the scientists had expected.

NASA now hopes to recreate their otherworldly temperatures and pressures back on Earth, in an attempt to further our understand about these mysterious planets.

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