Planetary Science: Galileo Hits a Strange Spot on Jupiter

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Science  02 Feb 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5249, pp. 593
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5249.593


Planetary scientists hoped that the free-flying probe released into Jupiter's atmosphere by the spacecraft Galileo would return results they could use to help understand the formation of the gas giant and of the whole solar system. But thanks to a piece of bad luck, the probe came down in an uncharacteristically hot, dry, and cloudless spot—essentially a Jovian Sahara—dashing those hopes at least for now. Still, the data are offering new insights into Jupiter's weather, possibly helping resolve a debate about the origins of the planet's strong winds.