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    Extraterrestrial within the Solar System


    Posts : 143
    Join date : 2010-09-23

    Extraterrestrial within the Solar System

    Post  meodingu on Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:05 am

    Extraterrestrial within the Solar System
    Jupiter's Great Red Spot in 1979.

    Studying how the weather works on other planets has been seen as helpful in understanding how it works on Earth.[49] Weather on other planets follows many of the same physical principles as weather on Earth, but occurs on different scales and in atmospheres having different chemical composition. The Cassini–Huygens mission to Titan discovered clouds formed from methane or ethane which deposit rain composed of liquid methane and other organic compounds.[50] Earth's atmosphere includes six latitudinal circulation zones, three in each hemisphere.[51] In contrast, Jupiter's banded appearance shows many such zones,[52] Titan has a single jet stream near the 50th parallel north latitude,[53] and Venus has a single jet near the equator.[54]

    One of the most famous landmarks in the Solar System, Jupiter's Great Red Spot, is an anticyclonic storm known to have existed for at least 300 years.[55] On other gas giants, the lack of a surface allows the wind to reach enormous speeds: gusts of up to 600 metres per second (about 2,100 km/h or 1,300 mph) have been measured on the planet Neptune.[56] This has created a puzzle for planetary scientists. The weather is ultimately created by solar energy and the amount of energy received by Neptune is only about 1⁄900 of that received by Earth, yet the intensity of weather phenomena on Neptune is far greater than on Earth.[57] The strongest planetary winds discovered so far are on the extrasolar planet HD 189733 b, which is thought to have easterly winds moving at more than 9,600 kilometres per hour (6,000 mph).[58]

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