The last time, NASA’s Cassini orbiter is providing a number of wonderful photos of his travels around Saturn, but that is not the only great camera floating around on a nearby planet. The agency’s Juno spacecraft is hanging around Jupiter for almost a year now, and it yielded one of the most jaw-dropping glimpse of the gas giant that we have ever seen.
This is Jupiter, the south pole, and like most of the rest of the planet, it is entirely covered with massive storms, electricity, and swirling masses of clouds that have for hundreds and hundreds of miles. The image is absolutely stunning, and it took and incredible amount of work to make it happen.
What you see is actually a composition of several photos taken at different times, so that the whole of the south pole was illuminated by daylight. The photos used to create the image were collected during three separate orbits of Juno, each of which takes nearly two months to complete.
Juno has already revealed much about Jupiter in his short time in a job, and a part of the information is telling scientists is leaving them both surprised. The colossal, Earth-sized storms on the poles are one of the more shocking features that researchers are still trying to figure out.
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“We are amazed at how they can be formed, how stable the configuration is, and why Jupiter the north pole, it doesn’t look like the south pole,” Juno principal investigator Scott Bolton says. “We doubt whether this is a dynamic system, and we see only one step, and in the coming year we are going to look to disappear, or is this a stable configuration, and these storms are around one another?”