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Juno Reveals Stunning Photos Of Jupiter With White Clouds High Up In Its Atmosphere

First Posted: May 31, 2017 04:30 AM EDT

NASA's Juno spacecraft captured images of the gas giant planet Jupiter showing white clouds high up in the planet's atmosphere. With this, they become very cold and the material they release become frozen.

Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, said that it is snowing on Jupiter and they are seeing how it works. He further said that it might be mostly ammonia ice, but there may be water ice mixed into it. It is not exactly like the snow on Earth but could rather be hail, according to Bolton.

Juno spacecraft took the images during its most recent close approach on May 19, 2017, at an altitude of 7,990 miles (12,858 kilometers). In the image, it shows small bright clouds of water ice and/or ammonia ice in the south tropical zone of the planet Jupiter, according to Space.com.

Juno also spotted surprising cyclones near Jupiter's poles that trigger Jovian auroras. With this, Jupiter might have a massive or partially dissolved core.

In the second study, Juno also examined the Jovian magnetic field, which is the solar system's biggest object. The scientists discovered that it is about twice as powerful as previously thought based on the past models. It is also about three times more powerful than the planet Earth. They found that the Earth's magnetic field originates from its center. On the other hand, Jupiter's magnetosphere could originate closer to its surface, according to Futurism.

Bolton said that what they have learned so far is Earth-shattering or probably Jupiter-shattering. He further said that the discoveries about its composition, magnetosphere and poles are as stunning as the images the mission is producing. 

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