Is There Water on Jupiter? Mystery Reveals with NASA’s Juno Spacecraft

Water is the basis of all life on earth. Since it is a significant part of the space research for astronomers. NASA and several other space agencies are working hard to search for evidence of life elsewhere in the universe. Scientists have already discovered water molecules on Martian soil in ice form and also on the moon. Water is essential for planet formation, and so experts are trying to detect how much there is around the Solar System. The discovery will help us to determine which theories of planet formation are the most accurate.

However, NASA's Juno spacecraft in its recent finding gave more clues about water in Jupiter's atmosphere. NASA's Galileo entered the gas giant planet's atmosphere in 1995. On Tuesday NASA said in a statement as per the data Galileo sent, it "suggested Jupiter might be extremely dry compared with the sun (the comparison is based not on liquid water but on the presence of its components, oxygen and hydrogen, present in the sun)."

The journal Nature Astronomy has published the updated story of water. The Juno data reveals that water consists of a total of 0.25% of the molecules in Jupiter's atmosphere, which is way less than researchers had expected. If compared, the amount is three times that of the sun. The Juno mission is making a broader and more intense study of the planet.

The new findings shed light on a new picture of the internal happenings of the planet's atmosphere. While Galileo went through its 57-minute, it discovered several new things. First, the water amount is ten times less water than expected. Second, the amount of water increases with depth. It further discovered that the atmosphere is not well mixed, which means it doesn't have constant water content. After the new findings, it is being considered that Juno may have sampled a particularly warm and dry spot.

Juno's chief investigator at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Scott Bolton said, "Juno's surprise discovery that the atmosphere was not well mixed even well below the cloud tops is a puzzle that we are still trying to figure out. No one would have guessed that water might be so variable across the planet."

However, it is not the end as Juno will be discovering more about the origin and evolution of Jupiter. "Just when we think we have things figured out, Jupiter reminds us how much we still have to learn," said Bolton. The latest water data help scientists assess leading theories about Jupiter's formation as well as the solar system.