Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2018 April 16
Explanation: What would it look like to fly over the North Pole of Jupiter? A fictional animation made from real images and data captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft shows an answer. Since the pole is presently in shadow, the video uses infrared light emitted by Jupiter -- specifically an infrared colour where the hottest features glows the brightest. As the animation starts, Juno zooms in on the enormous world. Soon, one of the eight cyclones orbiting the North Pole is featured. One by one, all eight cyclones circling the pole are inspected, each the size of an entire continent on Earth, and each containing bumpy and fragmented spiral walls. The virtual trip ends with a zoom out. Studying Jovian cyclones helps humanity to better understand dangerous storm systems that occur here on Earth. Juno has recently concluded another close pass by Jupiter -- Perijove 12 -- and seems healthy enough to complete several more of the two-month orbits.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.