Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system, and if you remember from high school science classes, you will surely remember that in addition to being the biggest star, the planet is always represented with the most colorful surface. Now, new images released by NASAreinforce our view of Jupiter, that its gaseous surface resembles a work of art by some abstract painter.
The images were captured by Juno probe, which began orbiting Jupiter in July 2016. The spacecraft is currently completing its 38th flight over the giant planet and is flying over Ganymede, Jupiter’s moon. Below you can see a gallery of beautiful images of the curious surface of the planet.
New information about Jupiter
According to Scott Bolton, lead researcher on the Juno mission, the images are completely altering our knowledge of the planet. “You can see how incredibly beautiful Jupiter is. It’s really an artist’s palette. It’s almost like a Van Gogh painting. You see these amazing vortices and swirling clouds of different colors,” Bolton said.
The colorful and exuberant images help researchers identify the occurrence of cyclones at Jupiter’s poles. In addition, photographs are helping researchers to map the magnetic field of the giant planet.
Researchers are observing two phenomena in particular: the Great Blue Spot, a magnetic anomaly located at Jupiter’s equator and the Great Red Spot, a centuries-long atmospheric storm. Since the Juno spacecraft arrived, researchers have been tracking changes in the planet’s magnetic field. While the Great Blue Spot moves eastward at about 5.1 cm per second (taking 350 years to complete one orbit of the planet), the Great Red Spot moves westward at accelerating speed.
The researchers stipulate that it will take 4.5 years for the storm to complete one trip around the planet, but the atmospheric anomaly is being altered by the planet’s wind currents, causing changes in its color. Bolton and his team believe that such an effect indicates a much greater extent of air currents into the planet’s gaseous interior.
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Source: CNN Brazil