Cyclones on Jupiter's north pole reveal more about the planet's makeup

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NASA released video of the massive storms found in Jupiter's north pole.

NASA released a new 3D animation on Wednesday that was made using infrared photos of Jupiter's poles.

Dr. Adriani and colleagues presented their results today at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna, Austria. The data was collected by Juno's Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument.

But images that capture the planet's stormy poles in infrared light, which is invisible to human eyes, are helping to crack the mysteries of Jupiter's inner workings. The weather is probed down to 50 or 70 kilometres below the cloud tops of Jupiter.

NASA is giving people the chance of getting an extraordinary look at Jupiter's north pole.

Since it entered Jupiter's orbit, the Juno spacecraft has completed 11 passes, travelling 200 million kilometres.

Videos released by NASA this week show a detailed view of a central cyclone surrounded by eight circumpolar cyclones.

According to NASA, the temperature readings and 3D reconstruction "provide insight into how the powerful cyclones at Jupiter's poles work".

In the video, the yellow areas are warmer and deeper inside Jupiter's atmosphere, while the darker parts are colder and higher up in the atmosphere. In this picture the highest "brightness temperature" is around 260K (about -13°C) and the lowest around 190K (about -83°C).

Juno's fly-by also provided researchers with a better understanding of how the interior of our solar system's largest planet rotates.

There is another video with a visualization of how Jupiter's magnetic field is distributed. Juno is documenting those mysterious regions of the enormous planet for the first time in history.

Scientists concentrated their research on the planet's rotation, its composition and its magnetic field. In the southern hemisphere, the magnetic field is negative.

A planetary dynamo is a theory that proposes that there is something within a celestial body that powers its magnetic field.

The researchers are still figuring out why they would see these differences in a rotating planet that's generally thought of as more-or-less fluid.

About a third of the way through its planned mapping mission, the spacecraft has logged almost 122 million miles since entering Jupiter's orbit on July 4, 2016. The spacecraft's 12th pass will be on May 24.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

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