Astronomy: Storms on a Mixed-Up Planet

When astronauts eventually soar be yond the moon to explore the distant planets, they will find Jupiter a dangerous place to visit. Even if they manage to withstand the tremendous pull of Jupiter's gravity and survive the frigid atmosphere of ammonia, methane, hydrogen and helium, they may well perish in the gigantic storms that sweep the planet every decade or two.

Because these violent outbursts never occur at the same point on the planet's eccentric orbit, some astronomers have suggested that they are caused by the erratic release of internal heat. This would indicate that Jupiter is behaving like a...

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