NASA Releases New Images of Jupiter’s Stormy Poles

A 3D illustration of Jupiter’s stormy north pole made using infrared photos taken by NASA’s Juno probe.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/ASI/INAF/JIRAM

NASA’s Juno probe continues to whip around Jupiter and beam back incredible new color photos of the giant planet.

But images that capture the planet’s stormy poles in infrared light, which is invisible to human eyes, are helping to crack the mysteries of Jupiter’s inner workings.

NASA released a new 3D animation on Wednesday that was made using infrared photos of Jupiter’s poles. Juno is documenting those mysterious regions of the enormous planet for the first time in history.

“Before Juno, we could only guess what Jupiter’s poles would look like,” Alberto Adriani, a Juno team member at Rome’s Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology, said in a NASA-JPL press release about the animation.

Visible-light images taken by the probe’s JunoCam show a bizarrely symmetric pattern of anticyclonic or backward-spinning storms.

A photo mosaic of multiple Juno photos that show Jupiter’s north polar storms.
NASA/SwRI/MSSS/ASI/INAF/JIRAM/Björn Jónsson (CC BY-NC-SA)

However, infrared images recorded by the a tool called the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper, or JIRAM, help researchers peer dozens of miles deep into the gas giant’s poles.

The newly released pictures reveal the shape and structure of the jam-packed collection of storms.

Juno scientists debuted the animations during the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna, Austria.

What Juno’s images of Jupiter’s north pole reveal
Below is a sped-up version from one of two new videos released by NASA.

Cooler and generally higher-altitude clouds are shown in red, down to a temperature of -118 degrees Fahrenheit. The lowest and warmest clouds seen by JIRAM’s infrared sensor are yellow, and they go up to 8 degrees Fahrenheit.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Business Insider, Dave Mosher