NASA’s Space Probe Sends Photographs of Jupiter’s South Pole
NASA published a photograph of Jupiter’s south pole, taken from the Juno space probe during the flight above the surface of the planet at the height of about 52,000 kilometers. The masses visible in the photograph are giant cyclones reaching up to 1,000 kilometers in diameter, BBC writes.
“Imagine Earth-sized swirling storms that are densely clustered and rubbing together,” NASA says. “We’re puzzled as to how they could be formed, how stable the configuration is, and why Jupiter’s north pole doesn’t look like the south pole. We’re questioning whether this is a dynamic system, and are we seeing just one stage, and over the next year, we’re going to watch it disappear, or is this a stable configuration and these storms are circulating around one another?”
Juno was launched in 2011. One of the main tasks of the mission — studying Jupiter’s gravitational and magnetic fields, as well as its atmosphere: determining the amount of water and ammonia in it, and building a wind map. It is planned that the mission will be over by February 2018, when the space probe will be directed into the atmosphere of the planet and will burn in it.