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A stunning new image has revealed a look at Jupiter’s stormy atmosphere from the seventh close flyby of NASA’s Juno spacecraft.
The image, captured from roughly 29,100 miles (49,900 kilometers), above the clouds, shows the ‘String of Pearls’ phenomenon and a lone orange storm seen not far away.
It also reveals a view of the south polar region, as Juno soared over 65.9 degrees south latitude.
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A stunning new image has revealed a look at Jupiter’s stormy atmosphere from the seventh close flyby of NASA’s Juno spacecraft. The image, captured from roughly 29,100 miles (49,900 kilometers), above the clouds, shows the ‘String of Pearls’ phenomenon and a lone orange storm seen not far away
Turning counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere just like on Earth, the cyclones are clearly clustered near the poles.
The diameters of some of these cyclones stretch 870 miles (1,400 kilometers).
Even bigger – though shapeless -weather systems are also present in both polar regions.
But, the two poles don’t really resemble each other, puzzling experts.
Jupiter’s poles appear dramatically different from neighboring Saturn’s, according to the scientists, with nothing like the hexagon-shaped cloud system over Saturn’s north pole.
According to NASA, the remarkable image was enhanced to reveal the striking color differences of Jupiter’s storms.
‘Four of the white oval storms known as the ‘String of Pearls’ are visible near the top of the image,’ according to NASA.
‘Interestingly, one orange-colored storm can be seen at the belt-zone boundary, while other storms are more of a cream color.’
The image was captured by the JunoCam on May 19, during its seventh close pass.
Earlier this month, a video stitching together over 2,000 still frames reconstructed from a recent flyover of Jupiter revealed a breathtaking new look at the largest planet in our solar system.
In March, NASA’s Juno spacecraft conducted the Perijove 5 flyby, bringing it roughly 2,700 miles from Jupiter’s cloud tops.
Using dozens of observations from the JunoCam, a mathematician in Germany has created a stunning time-lapse video showing the planet from all angles – and, set to dramatic sci-fi music, the footage reveals the alien beauty of the massive gas giant.
The video, originally created by mathematician Gerald Eichstaedt, took 60 hours to make, using 36 images from the JunoCam, according to Wired.
It reconstructs Juno’s flyby from the perspective of the spacecraft, using the PJ-05 images and SPICE trajectory data, the creator explains on YouTube.
The final product, using 2,703 still frames in all, is a 125-fold time-lapse compared to real time.
The remarkable video shows a look at some of the massive planet’s most striking features, including its chaotic cyclones that are up to 1,400 km (870 miles) across – roughly the length of Japan.
After uploading the timelapse to an online space forum, it was picked up by animator/filmmaker Seán Doran, who then smoothed it out and enhanced the frames, Wired reports.
The image shows Jupiter’s south pole, as seen by NASA’s Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles (52,000 kilometers). The oval features are cyclones, up to 870 miles (1,400 kilometers) in diameter. Multiple images taken with the JunoCam on three separate orbits were combined to show all areas in daylight, enhanced color, and stereographic projection
Doran also added otherworldly music from the 2001: A Space Odyssey soundtrack.
Just last week remarkable new images from the Juno spacecraft revealed new secrets about its atmosphere and interior that challenge previous assumptions about the giant gas planet.
The Juno mission, which launched in 2011 and began its first orbit last year, allows scientists to view Jupiter in new ways thanks to the probe’s highly elliptical orbit, which passes over the planet’s poles and dives within 5,000km (3,100 miles) of its cloud tops.
A NASA statement described the planet as ‘a complex, gigantic, turbulent world’ that is far different than scientists previously thought.
NASA’S JUNO MISSION
Nasa’s Juno spacecraft (pictured, a graphic representation) reached Jupiter last year after a five-year, 1.8 billion-mile journey from Earth
The Juno probe reached Jupiter last year after a five-year, 1.8 billion-mile journey from Earth.
Following a successful braking manoeuvre, it has now entered into a long polar orbit flying to within 3,100 miles (5,000 km) of the planet’s swirling cloud tops.
The probe will skim to within just 4,200 km of the planet’s clouds once a fortnight – too close to provide global coverage in a single image.
No previous spacecraft has orbited so close to Jupiter, although two others have been sent plunging to their destruction through its atmosphere.
To complete its risky mission Juno will have to survive a circuit-frying radiation storm generated by Jupiter’s powerful magnetic field. The maelstrom of high energy particles travelling at nearly the speed of light is the harshest radiation environment in the Solar System.
To cope with the conditions, the spacecraft is protected with special radiation-hardened wiring and sensor shielding.
Its all-important ‘brain’ – the spacecraft’s flight computer – is housed in an armoured vault made of titanium and weighing almost 400 pounds (172kg).
Juno is in a harsh radiation environment, so its delicate electronics are housed in a special titanium vault. Eventually, Juno will succumb to the intense radiation and will be commanded to plunge into Jupiter’s atmosphere to avoid any collision with the planet’s moons. Pictured is a 1/5 scale model size of the solar-powered Juno spacecraft
Two papers in the journal Science and 44 papers in Geophysical Research Letters describe a trove of discoveries made since Juno began orbiting Jupiter last year.
‘We knew, going in, that Jupiter would throw us some curves,’ said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.
‘There is so much going on here that we didn’t expect that we have had to take a step back and begin to rethink of this as a whole new Jupiter.
Juno’s findings are ‘really going to force us to rethink not only how Jupiter works, but how do we explore Saturn, Uranus and Neptune,’ Bolton added.
The remarkable video shows a look at some of the massive planet’s most striking features. And, set to a dramatic sci-fi music, the footage reveals the alien beauty of the massive gas giant
This sequence of enhanced-color images shows how quickly the viewing geometry changes for NASA?s Juno spacecraft as it swoops by Jupiter. The images were obtained by JunoCam. Once every 53 days the Juno spacecraft swings close to Jupiter, speeding over its clouds
Remarkable new images from the Juno spacecraft have revealed new secrets about its atmosphere and interior that challenge previous assumptions about the giant gas planet
With dozens of cyclones hundreds of miles across – alongside unidentifiable weather systems stretching thousands of miles – the poles look nothing like Jupiter’s equatorial region, instantly recognizable by its stripes and Great Red Spot, a raging hurricane-like storm.
‘That’s the Jupiter we’ve all known and grown to love,’ Bolton said.
‘And when you look from the pole, it looks totally different … I don’t think anybody would have guessed this is Jupiter.’
He calls these first major findings ‘Earth-shattering. Or should I say, Jupiter-shattering.’