NASA scientists have released new infrared images of Jupiter that capture massive cyclones and anticyclones forming over the gassy planet's north pole. This is the first time that a dynamo has been captured powering a magnetic field on another planet.
NASA's video shows that there are colossal storms located at Jupiter's north pole. In this animation, the maximum temperature difference is of about 70 degrees Celsius. The lowest and warmest clouds seen by JIRAM's infrared sensor are yellow, and they go up to -13 degrees Celsius (8 degrees Fahrenheit). With "Juno" the inhabitants of the Earth have heard and seen auroras on Jupiter, had looked at the storm and anticyclone, and now NASA has demonstrated another unexplored part of another planet - the North pole. The new global portrait reveals unexpected irregularities and regions of surprising magnetic field intensity.
Together with infrared and magnetic readings, the probe is helping to crack the longstanding mystery of how Jupiter's incredibly fast 10-hour day shapes weather systems from deep within the planet. Zones and belts in the atmosphere rotate at different speeds and extend to about 3,000 kilometres. NASA says the team can propose to extend the mission past July 2018, so the Juno spacecraft might not be done just yet.
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"At this point, hydrogen becomes conductive enough to be dragged into near-uniform rotation by the planet's powerful magnetic field".
"We're finding that Jupiter's magnetic field is unlike anything previously imagined,"said Connerney".
Maps of Jupiter's magnetic field reveal that it is more complex in the northern hemisphere than in the southern hemisphere. "Juno's investigations of the magnetic environment at Jupiter represent the beginning of a new era in the studies of planetary dynamos". There is also an area between the north pole and equator where the magnetic field is intense and positive.
"Already we are beginning to discover hints on how Jupiter's dynamo works", Connerney, of the Space Research Corporation, said.