The JunoCam imager aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured this top-down image of Jupiter’s colorful belts and zones as it flew above the planet’s polar region. It also caught a “barge type” cyclone in the polar jet stream known as Jet N4. When we see this image of Jupiter, we’re seeing only the top of the giant world’s atmosphere. New work has let scientists probe the depths of Jupiter’s storms. Image via NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ SwRI/ MSSS/ processing by Gerald Eichstädt.
Depths of Jupiter’s storms
Scientists said on October 28, 2021, that they’ve been able to probe the depths of Jupiter’s storms, thanks to an instrument aboard the Juno spacecraft. Juno has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016. Its microwave radiometer has now let scientists peer into the depths of Jupiter’s rotating storms, including the famous Great Red Spot. Normally, when we look at Jupiter, we see only the top of its atmosphere. But these scientists said this work has let them, in effect, peer below the clouds to determine the height, mass, velocities and temperatures of storms on the giant planet. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, for example, is now known to extend some 200 miles (300 km) into the planet’s atmosphere.