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Striking NASA photo captures 'powerful storms' near Jupiter's north pole

NASA's Juno mission is investigating the mysteries of Jupiter -- the biggest planet in our solar system.

July 30, 2022 / 09:05 AM IST
Vortices, hurricane-like spiral wind patterns on Jupiter. (Image credit: NASA)

Vortices, hurricane-like spiral wind patterns on Jupiter. (Image credit: NASA)

A stunning new photo of Jupiter, shared by NASA, has captured "powerful storms" near the planet's north pole.

The enhanced color and contrast view of the storms was created by a citizen scientist with raw image data from the American space agency's JunoCam.

The images were taken during NASA's 43rd  flyby of Jupiter on July 5, 2022, as part of its mission to explore Jupiter.

"JunoCam instrument captured this striking view of vortices -- hurricane --like spiral wind patterns --near the planet's north pole," NASA said in a statement on July 26.

These storms, that can be over 50 kilometers in height, are crucial to understand Jupiter.

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"Figuring 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,"  NASA said.

"Scientists are particularly interested in the vortices' varying shapes, sizes, and colors," it added. "For example, cyclones, which spin counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern, and anti-cyclones, which rotate clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the southern hemisphere, exhibit very different colors and shapes."

NASA is enlisting the help of citizen scientists to spot atmospheric phenomena captured in JunoCam photos of Jupiter.

"This process does not require specialized training or software, and can be done by anyone, anywhere, with a cellphone or laptop," NASA said.

NASA's Juno mission was launched in 2011 to study Jupiter-- the biggest planet in the solar system.

The Juno spacecraft undertook a 1.7-billion-mile journey lasting five years to reach Jupiter in 2016.

The mission's objective is to investigate the origins and evolution of Jupiter and of big planets in general, NASA has said.
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first published: Jul 30, 2022 09:05 am
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