I have recently become addicted to astronomy; for to me the unknown has always been a topic of great interest, especially now that modern technology is making it possible to advance our knowledge of the vast universe and what it reveals.
Astronomers’ understanding of the solar system’s biggest planet have been shaken up after NASA’s $1.1 billion Juno Mission revealed a ‘whole new Jupiter’ with an environment even more formidable than was thought.
Images taken by the probe showed chemical tempests and whirlwinds, and data found a magnetic field ten times stronger than Earth’s. Densely clustered storm systems, some the size of Earth, churn over the gas giant’s Polar Regions, fuelled by wells of ammonia that extend hundreds of miles though the atmosphere.
The oval features in this composite picture of the South Pole are smaller cyclones of up to six hundred miles in diameter.
‘There is so much going on here that we didn’t expect,’ said Scott Rolton, the principal investigator. ‘Juno was launched from Kennedy Space Centre, Florida in 2011 and took five years to travel 1.74 million miles to Jupiter’s orbit. The pictures were the first taken since Juno’s risky insertion into Jupiter’s orbit last July, and are the closest images ever taken.’
The photo, with its details, could conceivably be taken as a great art work by one of our planet’s great painters. It is a colourful piece of work of cyclones in a ferocious rage. In fact, the forces of nature have never been seen in such a dramatic fashion.