NASA's Juno probe snaps first images of Jupiter's north pole

Thursday, 08 Sep, 2016

Instead, a blue hue takes center stage, along with other brewing storms. If one would see the images, Bolton said that it would very hard for him/her to recognize that it is Jupiter. He added that they also saw signs of clouds having shadows, which could possibly indicate that the images the probe captured were of clouds at higher altitudes compared with other features.

The planet's South Pole is equally interesting.

Pioneer 11 was the first spacecraft to provide the glimpse of Jupiter's poles in 1974 when it flew past the planet on its way towards Saturn. That data surprised researchers, primarily due to something Jupiter's surface is lacking: a hexagon similar to that on Saturn. There is nothing on Jupiter that anywhere near resembles that. Studying the largest planet in the solar system may hold clues to understanding how Earth and the rest of the planets formed. The Juno space probe is now orbiting Jupiter, and the images it has sent back are impressive-and not just because they're the most close-up ones of the giant planet to date.

Along with the JunoCam, which sent back spectacular images with more to come in future flybys, the probe's suite of eight scientific instruments were also brought into play.

NASA's mission to lay bare the mysteries of Jupiter has already yielded images of the planet's intense auroras, but the USA space agency points out that the dazzling phenomenon also packs a mean - and somewhat terrifying - soundtrack.

Because of Jupiter's orbit, this is the first chance scientists have had to view the southern point in this kind of detail. The researching team of scientists noticed that the photographs did not show any hint of the marbling effect that Jupiter is associated with.

Alberto Adriani is JIRAM co-investigator from Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, Rome.

We've all seen images of Jupiter enough to pick it out of a planetary lineup - it's the big one with the wavy clouds and a big red spot. "It looks like nothing we have seen or imagined before".

NASA has posted thirteen hours of compressed Juno audio on Twitter and the sounds are incredibly spooky.

There will be 36 more passes that will be made by Juno around the planet. The instrument recorded ghostly-sounding transmissions emanating from above the planet.

In all, 13 hours of radio emissions from Jupiter's intense auroras were condensed then re-calibrated to a base frequency humans can hear.

"Jupiter is talking to us in a way only gas-giant worlds can", said Bill Kurth, co-investigator for the Waves instrument from the University of Iowa, Iowa City.