NASA Infrared Images Reveal New Details About the Jupiter Weather


Recently NASA releases some new images of Jupiter that clearly display the cyclones and the anticyclones that are currently forming over the north pole of the planet. It appears that there is one big cyclone and eight smaller ones that are surrounding it.

The diameter of the cyclones ranges from 4000 to 4600 km and they were captured by NASA’s spacecraft Juno and they were presented as 3D animations. Juno’s instrument, Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper (JIRAM), made all this information available. Juno entered the Jupiter orbit back in 2016 and it already completed 200 million kilometres and it completed 11 passes so far. The 12th one will take place on May 24.

Collecting Jupiter images

Juno has been very important for NASA as it managed to deliver numerous images that reveal new sides of Jupiter. “Before Juno, we could only guess what Jupiter’s poles would look like. Now, with Juno flying over the poles at a close distance, it permits the collection of infrared imagery on Jupiter’s polar weather patterns and its massive cyclones in unprecedented spatial resolution,” declared Alberto Adriani, a Juno co-investigator.

Tristan Guillot, another Juno co-investigator added that Juno allowed them to figure out how Jupiter’s interior rotates, which is something that they were not able to do in the past, as it was hard for scientists to “distinguish between extreme models of Jupiter’s interior rotation”. However, this problem was solved “thanks to the amazing increase in accuracy brought by Juno’s gravity data”.

The images were presented at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly that took place on April 11 in Vienna, Austria. The images are really important as they provide the information that was needed so that scientists can understand the interior structure of the planet, as well as its magnetic field and composition.


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