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NASA releases first images of Jupiter's poles

Posted on Saturday, 3 September, 2016 | Comment icon 10 comments

The Juno probe captured this detailed view of Jupiter's south polar region. Image Credit: NASA
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."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (10)

Tags: Jupiter, Juno

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Nnicolette on 3 September, 2016, 16:25
The wailing planet. Will this change the notion that radiowaves signify et?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 3 September, 2016, 18:32
No, because there is no notion that radio waves signify E.T. It has been known for decades that many objects in the cosmos naturally produce radiowaves, including Jupiter. That is why we have radio astronomers doing radio astronomy using radio telescopes. 
Comment icon #3 Posted by Merc14 on 3 September, 2016, 19:50
Truly amazing to look at!  I wonder what the size of those eddy like storms is?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Astra. on 4 September, 2016, 11:53
It's stunning to see this giant gas planet in a new light by learning more about it. The infrared image of Jupiter's southern aurora is truly amazing. I realise that Juno's main purpose is to map out things like Jupiter's interior and magnetic field - so most of its instrumentation is geared towards measuring the various aspects of this etc....rather than only taking pictures. But since Jupiter has a very high and harsh radiation environment - I was wondering how long the visual camera will survive it's number of planned orbits ?... since radiation can rapidly degrade and / or destroy things l... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by Derek Willis on 4 September, 2016, 13:50
I spent some time staring at the images of Jupiter and I started seeing the faces of elves and imps. I wonder if my wife slipped something into my coffee!?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Merc14 on 4 September, 2016, 14:59
I wondered teh same thing and came upon this very detailed article on the Junocam here Near the middle they say that Junocam was designed to survive 8 orbits and then, most likely, slowly degrade: Since it's not a science instrument, JunoCam wasn't required to be heavily shielded enough to guarantee its survival throughout the prime science mission. It is shielded, but the Jupiter radiation environment is a nasty one, and JunoCam will suffer radiation damage over time. It was designed to withstand 8 ... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by Nnicolette on 4 September, 2016, 21:47
I wasnt saying that ANY radio waves signify that, but that is what is being searched for right?
Comment icon #8 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 4 September, 2016, 22:06
That's EXACTLY what your post implied.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Astra. on 5 September, 2016, 12:01
Cheers Merc for the information. I haven't had much time of late to chase further details down concerning Junocam's expected longevity etc... lets hope she goes the whole nine yards before she fades out. Can't wait for the many more discoveries they will happen upon concerning this gas giant.
Comment icon #10 Posted by paperdyer on 6 September, 2016, 16:27
The pics made it look like Jupiter is trying to ignite or it has one huge forest fire going on.

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