Scientists have been continuously observing the Jupiter’s Great Red Spot since 1830. It is a firm high pressure region (similar to storm) in Jupiter’s atmosphere. In a recent scientific discovery, researchers have detected water clouds inside Jupiter’s Great Red Spot which has raised hopes that life could exist there. It is for the first time that scientists discovered water clouds inside the centuries old storm which is larger than the entire earth.
The possibility of life cannot be ruled out where there is liquid water. Ádámkovics, Clemson University astrophysicist, stated that water has a critical role in Jupiter’s dynamic weather patterns that might help in advancing the knowledge about the planet’s turbulent atmosphere. In the past, NASA had stated that Jupiter’s atmosphere is not conducive to life but had added that Europa is one of the likeliest places to find life.
Still a mystery to NASA, however, water clouds have given the scientists reasons to believe life on Jupiter cannot be ruled out. The research team used the iSHELL on the NASA infrared Telescope facility and the Near Infrared Spectrograph on the KECK2 telescope to find water. In addition to this, scientists have also recently discovered electromagnetic waves coming from the satellites Europa and Ganymede.
Juno, the latest spacecraft, circles the planet every 53 days in finding water, likely in gaseous forms. If it succeeds, it will help in supporting the research.
The theory related to Jupiter that was widely accepted for decades was that it is identical in composition to the Sun, i.e. a ball of hydrogen with a hint of helium gas but with no core. However, over years of researches, evidences have proved that Jupiter has a core that is 10 times the Earth’s mass. The quantity or level of water is not known yet.
The great red spot is a formation of dense clouds, and electromagnetic waves cannot escape to help the researchers know the chemicals within. There were statements issued by the US space agency regarding the chemicals existing at high altitudes in Jupiter’s atmosphere which are required for some life form, which NASA calls as “exotic life”. There are even lighting and thunders on the planet due to moisture that could provide energy for chemical reactions useful for life.