The swirling storms at the gas giant’s poles have been captured on camera in unprecedented detail.
After a journey through the solar system spanning five years, NASA’s Juno probe has finally entered in to orbit around Jupiter and has already managed to capture some truly impressive photographs.
Following an ambitious flyby last week which took it within 2,500 miles of the gas giant’s clouds, the probe has succeeded in taking the first ever close-up images of Jupiter’s north and south poles.
The pictures have been described by scientists as “hardly recognizable as Jupiter”.
“It looks like nothing we have seen or imagined before,” said Juno mission principal investigator Scott Bolton. “The largest planet in our solar system is truly unique.
One of the most intriguing discoveries so far is the fact that the clouds appear to have shadows, suggesting that they are sitting above other features in Jupiter’s atmosphere.
The probe’s instruments have also picked up radio waves coming off the planet’s auroras consisting of eerie, otherworldly wails which shift in pitch with the intensity of the auroral waves and sound.
“Jupiter is talking to us in a way only gas-giant worlds can,” said researcher Bill Kurth. “These emissions are the strongest in the solar system. Now we are going to try to figure out where the electrons come from that are generating them.”
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