The amount of water in the atmosphere of Jupiter has been a mystery scientists have been unable to crack. U.S space agency NASA recently had sent a mission to the planet which has found results contrary to the findings of an earlier mission sent by NASA in 1995. The recent mission named Juno probe, has found around 0.25 per cent water molecules in the atmosphere which is more than what the scientists had anticipated and way more than what the 1995 mission termed Galileo mission found, according to a report by the Space.com. The presence of water reported in the findings of the Juno probe is three times more than what is available on the Sun, the report added.
The findings related to the water molecules do not end there as the research could eventually lead to information on how the planet was formed. According to the scientists’ community, Jupiter is probably believed to have been formed first among all the other planets. With the exact information on the amount of gas, water and dust the planet must have sucked after the formation of the sun available, space science could gain insight into the wind currents and other vital information about the solar system.
What baffles the space scientists about the Jupiter mission is the availability of water which is highly variable across the planet. In 1995, the mission had found 10 times less water presence than what they had predicted. Also, the amount of water appeared to increase as the spacecraft further went down in the atmosphere over the planet. At the exact time when the spacecraft was going down in the atmosphere of the planet, a ground-based infrared telescope hinted that the spacecraft may have hit a dry spot on the planet contributing to the findings of the planet.
On Jupiter, the atmosphere is not mixed well below the cloud tops and that is what makes this a great puzzle, Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator at the Southwest research institute told Space.com. He further said that nobody had guessed that water would be so variable on the planet. The scientists will now compare and reconcile the results of the two missions and try to find some headway in the research. But one thing seems certain that alike all other space phenomena, the presence of water on Jupiter is an even harder nut to crack.