Earth’s Oceanography Helps Demystify Jupiter’s Flowing Cyclones

Lia Siegelman had just been studying the swirling waters of the Southern Ocean, which surrounds Antarctica, when she happened to come across a poster image of cyclones around Jupiter’s north pole, taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft. “I looked at it, and I was just struck: ‘Whoa, this looks just like turbulence in the ocean,’” she says.

So Siegelman, a researcher at San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, turned her eye to the latest detailed images of the outer planet. She and her team proved for the first time that a kind of convection seen on Earth explains the physical forces and energy sources that create cyclones on Jupiter. (Since air

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