文章来源:未知 文章作者:meng 发布时间:2010-03-17 00:36 字体: [ ]  进入论坛

"This is our first detailed1 look inside the biggest storm of the Solar System," says Glenn Orton, who led the team of astronomers2(天文学家) that made the study. "We once thought the Great Red Spot(木星表面大红斑) was a plain old oval(椭圆形,卵形) without much structure, but these new results show that it is, in fact, extremely complicated." The observations reveal that the reddest colour of the Great Red Spot corresponds to a warm core within the otherwise cold storm system, and images show dark lanes at the edge of the storm where gases are descending3 into the deeper regions of the planet. The observations, detailed in a paper appearing in the journal Icarus, give scientists a sense of the circulation patterns(环流模式) within the solar system's best-known storm system.

Sky gazers have been observing the Great Red Spot in one form or another for hundreds of years, with continuous observations of its current shape dating back to the 19th century. The spot, which is a cold region averaging about -160 degrees Celsius4, is so wide that about three Earths could fit inside its boundaries.

The thermal5 images were mostly obtained with the VISIR instrument attached to ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile, with additional data coming from the Gemini South telescope in Chile and the National Astronomical6 Observatory7 of Japan's Subaru Telescope in Hawaii. The images have provided an unprecedented8(空前的) level of resolution and extended the coverage9 provided by NASA's Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s. Together with observations of the deep cloud structure by the 3-metre NASA Infrared10 Telescope Facility in Hawaii, the level of thermal detail observed from these giant observatories11 is for the first time comparable to visible-light images from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

VISIR allows the astronomers to map the temperature, aerosols12(气溶胶,喷雾器) and ammonia(氨) within and surrounding the storm. Each of these parameters13(参数,参量) tells us how the weather and circulation patterns change within the storm, both spatially14(空间地) (in 3D) and with time. The years of VISIR observations, coupled with those from the other observatories, reveals how the storm is incredibly stable despite turbulence15(扰动,骚乱) , upheavals16(剧变,隆起) and close encounters with other anticyclones(反气旋,高气压) that affect the edge of the storm system.

"One of the most intriguing17(迷人的,有趣的) findings shows the most intense orange-red central part of the spot is about 3 to 4 degrees warmer than the environment around it," says lead author Leigh Fletcher. This temperature difference might not seem like a lot, but it is enough to allow the storm circulation, usually counter-clockwise(逆时针方向的) , to shift to a weak clockwise circulation in the very middle of the storm. Not only that, but on other parts of Jupiter, the temperature change is enough to alter wind velocities18(风速,风矢量) and affect cloud patterns in the belts and zones.

"This is the first time we can say that there's an intimate(亲密的,精通的) link between environmental conditions — temperature, winds, pressure and composition — and the actual colour of the Great Red Spot," says Fletcher. "Although we can speculate(推测,思索) , we still don't know for sure which chemicals or processes are causing that deep red colour, but we do know now that it is related to changes in the environmental conditions right in the heart of the storm."


1 detailed xuNzms     
  • He had made a detailed study of the terrain.他对地形作了缜密的研究。
  • A detailed list of our publications is available on request.我们的出版物有一份详细的目录备索。
2 astronomers 569155f16962e086bd7de77deceefcbd     
n.天文学者,天文学家( astronomer的名词复数 )
  • Astronomers can accurately foretell the date,time,and length of future eclipses. 天文学家能精确地预告未来日食月食的日期、时刻和时长。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Astronomers used to ask why only Saturn has rings. 天文学家们过去一直感到奇怪,为什么只有土星有光环。 来自《简明英汉词典》
3 descending descending     
n. 下行 adj. 下降的
  • The results are expressed in descending numerical order . 结果按数字降序列出。
  • The climbers stopped to orient themselves before descending the mountain. 登山者先停下来确定所在的位置,然后再下山。
4 Celsius AXRzl     
  • The temperature tonight will fall to seven degrees Celsius.今晚气温将下降到七摄氏度。
  • The maximum temperature in July may be 36 degrees Celsius.七月份最高温度可能达到36摄氏度。
5 thermal 8Guyc     
  • They will build another thermal power station.他们要另外建一座热能发电站。
  • Volcanic activity has created thermal springs and boiling mud pools.火山活动产生了温泉和沸腾的泥浆池。
6 astronomical keTyO     
  • He was an expert on ancient Chinese astronomical literature.他是研究中国古代天文学文献的专家。
  • Houses in the village are selling for astronomical prices.乡村的房价正在飙升。
7 observatory hRgzP     
  • Guy's house was close to the observatory.盖伊的房子离天文台很近。
  • Officials from Greenwich Observatory have the clock checked twice a day.格林威治天文台的职员们每天对大钟检查两次。
8 unprecedented 7gSyJ     
  • The air crash caused an unprecedented number of deaths.这次空难的死亡人数是空前的。
  • A flood of this sort is really unprecedented.这样大的洪水真是十年九不遇。
9 coverage nvwz7v     
  • There's little coverage of foreign news in the newspaper.报纸上几乎没有国外新闻报道。
  • This is an insurance policy with extensive coverage.这是一项承保范围广泛的保险。
10 infrared dx0yp     
  • Infrared is widely used in industry and medical science.红外线广泛应用于工业和医学科学。
  • Infrared radiation has wavelengths longer than those of visible light.红外辐射的波长比可见光的波长长。
11 observatories d730b278442c711432218e89314e2a09     
n.天文台,气象台( observatory的名词复数 )
  • John Heilbron, The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories, 3-23. 约翰.海耳布隆,《教会里的太阳:教堂即太阳观测台》,第3-23页。 来自互联网
  • Meteorologists use satellites, land observatories and historical data to provide information about the weather. 气象学家使用卫星、上天文台和历史资料来提供有关天气的信息。 来自互联网
12 aerosols a9c7ea700e36caa4c48a8c693762372f     
n.气溶胶( aerosol的名词复数 );喷雾剂;(气体中的)浮粒;喷雾器
  • Aerosols are present throughout the atmosphere. 气溶胶存在于整个大气层。 来自辞典例句
  • Deodorants are available as aerosols or roll-ons. 除臭剂有喷雾装或滚抹装。 来自辞典例句
13 parameters 166e64f6c3677d0c513901242a3e702d     
因素,特征; 界限; (限定性的)因素( parameter的名词复数 ); 参量; 参项; 决定因素
  • We have to work within the parameters of time. 我们的工作受时间所限。
  • See parameters.cpp for a compilable example. This is part of the Spirit distribution. 可编译例子见parameters.cpp.这是Spirit分发包的组成部分。
14 spatially ca2278711fa6d1d851ea605dea2e8224     
  • A well-defined array of stable fringes results and the field is spatially coherent. 结果得到一组完全确定的稳定条纹,而光场是空间相干的。
  • The units are collaged together by a serial tectonic spatially and temporally. 这些构造单元是由构造原因,依一定的时空序列拼贴在一起的。
15 turbulence 8m9wZ     
  • The turbulence caused the plane to turn over.空气的激流导致飞机翻转。
  • The world advances amidst turbulence.世界在动荡中前进。
16 upheavals aa1c8bf1f3fb2d0b98e556f3eed9b7d7     
突然的巨变( upheaval的名词复数 ); 大动荡; 大变动; 胀起
  • the latest upheavals in the education system 最近教育制度上的种种变更
  • These political upheavals might well destroy the whole framework of society. 这些政治动乱很可能会破坏整个社会结构。
17 intriguing vqyzM1     
  • These discoveries raise intriguing questions. 这些发现带来了非常有趣的问题。
  • It all sounds very intriguing. 这些听起来都很有趣。 来自《简明英汉词典》
18 velocities 64d80206fdcbbf917808c5b00e0a8ff5     
n.速度( velocity的名词复数 );高速,快速
  • In experimenting we find out that sound travels with different velocities through different substances. 在实验中,我们发现声音以不同的速度通过不同的物质而传播。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • A gas in thermal equilibrium has particles of all velocities. 处于热平衡的气体,其粒子有一切速度。 来自辞典例句