Juno spacecraft returns stunning image of Jupiter

Juno spacecraft returns stunning image of Jupiter

The serenity conveyed by the image is deceptive, for as one approaches the cloud tops of Jupiter one begins to get a sense of the grand ferocity weather of the planet. “These powerful storms can be over 50 kilometers high and hundreds of kilometers wide,” a NASA JPL spokesperson wrote on its website. “Finding out how they form is key to understanding Jupiter’s atmosphere, as well as the fluid dynamics and cloud chemistry that create the planet’s other atmospheric features.” Scientists are particularly interested in different shapes, sizes and colors of swirls.”

each of poles of jupiter it has its own characteristics when it comes to storms. The south pole had six cyclones so far, each the size of the United States, one in the center and five forming a near perfect pentagon. Everything spins clockwise. Jupiter is said to have had up to six hours of thunderstorms because during Juno flights scientists observed that there was a seventh stormafter which the pentagon became a hexagon.

As for the North Pole, scientists have counted nine storms there, eight located around a power plant and all rotating counterclockwise. And, in the high latitude regions surrounding these two central polar chains of storms, other vortices appear.

Using data from Juno, scientists have identified a mechanism by which these storms are pulled apart instead of merging into a megastorm, as occurs at Saturn’s poles. Tracking changes between Juno flybys is one of the most important tools planetary scientists have to understand Jupiter’s rugged climate, especially at its poles.

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