Tuesday 27 September 2016

Spacecraft Juno beams back spectacular pictures of Jupiter's north pole

Published 02/09/2016 | 22:51

Infrared image provided by NASA shows the southern aurora of Jupiter, captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft. The phenomenon can hardly be seen from Earth due to the position of the two planets (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS via AP)
Infrared image provided by NASA shows the southern aurora of Jupiter, captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft. The phenomenon can hardly be seen from Earth due to the position of the two planets (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS via AP)
Image provided by NASA shows Jupiter's north polar region, taken by the Juno spacecraft 120,000 miles (195,000 kilometers) away from the planet (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS via AP)

A Nasa spacecraft has sent back the best views of Jupiter yet, revealing turbulent storms in the north pole.

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Nasa has released a batch of close-up pictures taken by the Juno spacecraft last week when it flew within 2,500 miles of Jupiter's cloud tops.

It was the first of three dozen planned close passes during the 20-month mission.

The mission's chief scientist, Scott Bolton, says the north pole is stormy and appears bluer than the rest of the planet.

Image provided by NASA provides a new perspective on Jupiter's south pole, seen when the Juno spacecraft was about 58,700 miles (94,500 kilometers) away(NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS via AP)
Image provided by NASA provides a new perspective on Jupiter's south pole, seen when the Juno spacecraft was about 58,700 miles (94,500 kilometers) away(NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS via AP)

Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, is a gas giant shrouded in colourful stripes and swirls.

Juno entered orbit around Jupiter in July after a five-year journey to map the planet's poles, atmosphere and interior. It will fly closer to Jupiter than any other spacecraft.

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