NASA’s Juno spacecraft has sent new pictures of Jupiter’s north pole. The images show storm and weather activity unlike anything previously seen on any of our solar system’s gas-giant planets. On the pictures there are storms swirling around it’s two poles.
“It looks like nothing we have seen or imagined before” said Scott Bolton, principal investigator on the Juno project.
Juno successfully executed the first of 36 orbital flybys on Aug. 27 when the spacecraft came about 2,500 miles above Jupiter’s clouds. The Juno spacecraft launched on Aug. 5, 2011 and arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016. It’s a 1.1 billion dollar project. Scientists want to establish how much water the planet contains. Juno is the first spacecraft to carry a titanium vault designed to shield its computer and electronics from intense radiation. Once Juno is done studying Jupiter, likely by February 2018, NASA plans on retiring the intrepid spacecraft by performing a “deorbit phase.” This maneuver just basically means it’ll hurtle itself toward Jupiter’s turbulent atmosphere, where it will burn up.