NASA Juno Mission Organized 3-D Flight of Jupiter’s North Pole

NASA Juno Mission Organized 3-D Flight of Jupiter’s North Pole

Scientists working on NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter shared a 3-D flyover video captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft. Those are among the items revealed during the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday, April 11. The data had been collected by Juno mission scientists of Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper (JIRAM). Imaging in the infrared part of the spectrum, JIRAM captures light emerging from deep inside Jupiter equally well, night or day. The instrument probes the weather layer down to 30 to 45 miles (50 to 70 kilometers) below Jupiter’s cloud tops. The imagery will help the team understand the forces at work in the animation: a north pole dominated by a central cyclone surrounded by eight circumpolar cyclones with diameters ranging from 2,500 to 2,900 miles (4,000 to 4,600 kilometers). “Before Juno, we could only guess what Jupiter’s poles would look like,” said Alberto Adriani, Juno co-investigator from the Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology, Rome. “Now, with Juno flying over the poles at a close distance it permits the collection of infrared imagery on Jupiter’s polar weather patterns and its massive cyclones in unprecedented spatial resolution.” The same data used to analyze Jupiter’s rotation contain information on the planet’s interior structure and composition. Not knowing the interior rotation was severely limiting the ability to probe the deep interior. “Now our work can really begin in earnest — determining the interior composition of the solar system’s largest planet,” said Guillot. “We’re finding that Jupiter’s magnetic field is unlike anything previously imagined,” said Connerney. “Juno’s investigations of the magnetic environment at Jupiter represent the beginning of a new era in the studies of planetary dynamos.” Juno mission launched in August 2011 which cost $1billion, and arrived in orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016. The solar-powered probe is studying the gas giant’s structure, composition and magnetic and gravitational fields.

Source: NASA