First science results from Juno

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Storms at Jupiter's pole

The Juno science team today released the mission’s first science results gathered during its first close fly-by of Jupiter.

I have cropped on the right one of their full images to focus in on two of the strangely shaped storms Juno imaged during its pass. This image is of the northern pole. They also have some fascinating images of the south pole storms as well. Unlike the equatorial regions, which on gas giants have what appear to be parallel coherent bands of weather, the poles appear very chaotic, with the storms forming shapes that have not been seen in any other atmosphere in the solar system. They also found a hexagon-shaped weather feature in the pole.

The first link above also included data from the spacecraft’s other instruments, showing the gas giant’s complex atmosphere in a variety of other wavelengths.


  • BSJ

    Still no bumpiness. There must be a transparent “atmosphere” in which the clouds propagate.

    They flow even more like a fluid than here on Earth…

  • wodun

    I want to put in a request for our kind host to make some animated gifs of Jupiter’s storms with his photo processing wizardry.

  • Wodun: Your request is noted, but don’t count on it. More work than I care to do, and besides, I fully expect the Juno team to start producing these themselves once the spacecraft is in its science orbit and begins accumulating data.

  • ” They also found a hexagon-shaped weather feature in the pole.”

    Looks like this is a feature on gas giants.

  • Localfluff

    The hexagons (also in jet streams on Earth, I think) are formed by winds interacting at equilateral triangles. At equal distance at evenly spread out angles. The reinforcement of the winds at those angles reflect again into resonances forming equilateral triangles. And a hexagon is built up of that phenomenon. Not as weird as it looks. Not that it was predicted, but after the shock discovery it has been explained.

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