“He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.”
Here is the weather forecast for the surface of the planet Jupiter for today. It will be stormy. Clouds of ammonia ice will exhibit bright plumes visible from Earth, and the largest storm is bigger than planet
Earth, with wind speeds in excess of 400 mph.
Jupiter is a gas giant planet. Jupiter is, in fact, the largest planet in the Solar System and is big enough to contain all the other seven planets. The composition of the atmosphere is about 88% hydrogen and 12% helium, but there are trace amounts of water vapor, ammonia, methane and many other materials. These trace amounts, in vapors or in droplets or ice particles, give the various bands in the upper atmosphere their appearance.
It is well known that Jupiter has a number of long-lasting weather features, the most famous of which is the Great Red Spot – a huge storm which has been observed since 1831 and has probably existed since 1665. But there are other, more transitory storms that appear and disappear again. Recently, a survey of storm activity has been conducted, using a large telescope array in Chile and the Hubble Space Telescope. But it pleases me that one of the largest of these storms was actually first reported by an amateur astronomer from Australia.
The detail with which God has designed this universe is truly amazing. It is awe-inspiring that we can observe storms on another world and measure their power.
Prayer: Your awesome power, Lord God and Heavenly Father, is seen in the things that You have made – even on planets far away. We praise Your Name. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: University of California – Berkeley. “Storms on Jupiter are disturbing the planet’s colorful belts: Radio, IR and optical observations show evolution of plumes and their impact on belts and zones.” ScienceDaily, 22 August 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190822130438.htm>. Image: Great Red Spot, shrinking; NASA, Public Domain.
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