The NASA Juno space probe has captured a mesmerizing image of Jupiter highlighting the huge storms on its north pole. This is the first time the storms have been seen in such clarity.
The NASA Juno space probe has been working overtime to gather information about Jupiter. On its 43rd close flyby of the planet on July 5, it took a sensational image of the planet’s north pole revealing huge storms brewing on its surface. The storms have a unique color and shape of a spiral flower and scientists have become curious to learn more about these whirlwinds. Juno was launched in 2011 and reached the largest planet of our solar system in 2016. Ever since, it has been orbiting the planet as NASA intends to gather data about this gas giant which plays an important role in our solar system in both protecting the inner planets from asteroid bombardment as well as keeping nearby planets fixed in their orbits due to its very strong gravitational force.
After the recent revelation by Juno, researchers have become very curious about these north pole storms on Jupiter. According to NASA, these powerful hurricanes can reach a height of more than 50 kilometers and can spread across a geography of hundreds of kilometers. In a statement, the space agency said that learning about these storms and how they form is crucial to understand “Jupiter’s atmosphere, as well as the fluid dynamics and cloud chemistry that create the planet’s other atmospheric features”.
NASA Juno space probe shows never seen before storm on Jupiter
Over the course of multiple flybys of Juno, scientists know some information about these storms. For instance, these storms spin in anti-clockwise direction on the northern hemisphere of Jupiter while the same storms building near the south pole of the gas giant spin in clockwise direction. Further, storms in the north pole differ distinctly from the ones in the south pole in both color as well as shape.
In an attempt to categorize and analyze all the data NASA has about these storms, a citizen project called Jovian Vortex Hunter was started. The space agency asks for public volunteers to help locate these storms and categorize them across different types. As of July 2022, 2,404 volunteers had made 376,725 classifications, but the data pile is still large. So, click here if you want to participate in this project.