Jupiter’s Whirling Clouds Spotted Like Never Before

NASA’s Juno spacecraft shot a photo of a unique image of the northern part of Jupiter back in February. The space agency released the capture last week. Jupiter has been seen as never before, and astronomers are left in awe. Up close, the shot displays the planet as a precious stone, engulfed in whirling clouds.

Juno captures the image from 25,120 km above the cloud tops. NASA explains that the streaks noticed in the picture are “layers of haze particles that float above the underlying cloud features.

Scientists, however, are not that sure about the hazes’ structure or how they are formed. NASA added: “Two jet streams in Jupiter’s atmosphere flank either side of the region where the narrow bands of haze typically appear, and some researchers speculate those jet streams may influence the formation of the high hazes.”

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Captured Jupiter’s Unique Whirling Clouds

NASA’s Juno spacecraft reached Jupiter’s ground back in July 2016. Juno is part of the New Frontiers program, and it was developed by Lockheed Martin and is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. The spacecraft was lifted off back in 2011 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Its mission is to examine the planet’s atmosphere, gravity fields, and the magnetosphere. It also must search for hints about how Jupiter developed, including whether it has a rocky nucleus, how much water it has its deep atmosphere, details about its deep winds, and mass distribution.

Juno represents the second shuttle sent to orbit Jupiter, after the Galileo orbiter, which was launched back in 1995, and performed its mission until 2003. The spacecraft is powered by some solar arrays, which have a significant role in stabilizing it. So far, Juno turned out to be very efficient. It sent a bunch of pictures of Jupiter, which NASA released to the public.

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