Violent thunderstorms on Jupiter may form ‘mushballs’ that fall from the sky

A cyclone spotted in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere by JunoCam in 2018.  (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill )

Thunderstorms on Jupiter are so strong that they create ammonia-rich hail known as “mushballs” that may fall from the sky.

New observations of Jupiter from NASA’s Juno spacecraft could not only drastically change our understanding of the gas giant, but also of giant planet atmospheres in general, which are largely made of gas and are subject to much higher pressures than what we are familiar with on Earth.

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