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Juno Spacecraft Reveals Spectacular Cyclones At Jupiter's Poles ( 22

Joe Palca reports via NPR: NASA's Juno spacecraft has spotted giant cyclones swirling at Jupiter's north and south poles. That's just one of the unexpected and puzzling findings being reported by the Juno science team. Juno arrived at Jupiter last summer. It's the first spacecraft to get a close-up look at the planet's poles. It's in an orbit that takes it skimming close to the cloud tops of the gas giant once every 53 days. After each close pass, the spacecraft sends a trove of data back to Earth. Ultimately, scientists will want to understand how these cyclones change over time and whether they form differently in the north and south poles. Another puzzle that Juno is supposed to help solve is whether Jupiter, a gas giant, has a solid core. Another surprise from Juno is the concentration of ammonia in Jupiter's atmosphere. Scientists thought ammonia was most likely distributed evenly throughout the atmosphere. The data show there's more ammonia near the equator than there is at other latitudes.
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Juno Spacecraft Reveals Spectacular Cyclones At Jupiter's Poles

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Are these God damn Poles everywhere now?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Jupiter for the Jupiterians !

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Jupiter for the Jupiterians !

        That is not the Jovian consensus.

    • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

      No, still only at the north and south of the planet.

  • by Salgak1 ( 20136 ) <salgak@speakeasy. n e t> on Friday May 26, 2017 @08:38AM (#54490161) Homepage

    . . . . causing Jovian Warming!

  • "The early data are suggesting the presence of a core," Lunine says. "But not a discreet core. It seems that it's fuzzy." He says more data should help provide a more precise understanding than fuzzy.

    The core is being very discreet, hiding under all those clouds so we can't see it, and being very unobtrusive. It's not like it's out there waving itself around for everyone to see. I guess it leaves that to the flashy cloud layers and the Great Red Spot, which is a discrete formation that's been known for some time.

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Friday May 26, 2017 @11:09AM (#54491107) Journal

    The caption for the cool picture says "This image shows Jupiter's south pole, as seen by NASA's Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles. The oval features are cyclones, up to 600 miles in diameter."

    With a diameter of ~86,000 mi, some of those ovoids are easily 5000 mi across, not "up to 600mi in diameter" - am I missing something, or are they only talking about teeny circles? Or did they just drop a zero?

  • What a freaky cool looking event... series of events. That so very much doesn't look like the Jupiter I am familiar with. It's just fascinating. Now to read up on the science behind it to really enjoy this discovery completely.

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