Here’s why these images of Jupiter look like hell:
New images beamed back from NASA’s Juno probe reveal the gas giant’s North Pole is made up of 8 cyclones, with diameters ranging from 2,500 to 2,900 miles, that encircle a massive, central cyclone.
Yellow areas in the images from the probe represent warmer, deeper regions of the planet, while red areas represent cooler, shallower regions. The 3D infrared images were processed using data collected during Juno’s most recent flyby of Jupiter. Before Juno, researchers say they had no way of knowing what Jupiter’s poles looked like.
Another discovery of the latest Juno mission is how the deep interior of Jupiter rotates, which can affect weather systems on the planet.
Juno’s co-investigator Tristan Guillot explained, “The zones and belts that we see in the atmosphere rotating at different speeds extend to about 1,900 miles. At this point, hydrogen becomes conductive enough to be dragged into near-uniform rotation by the planet’s powerful magnetic field.”
Jupiter, which is primarily comprised of hydrogen and helium, completes a rotation around its axis in about 10 hours —which makes it the fastest of all the planets in the solar system, despite also being the largest.
In light of Juno’s discovery, scientists want to probe deeper and determine Jupiter’s interior composition.