Cyclones surrounding Jupiter's poles are unlike anything else encountered in solar system

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Juno is finding weird things in Jupiter's vast cyclone clusters

NASA launched the Juno mission on August 5, 2011 to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter, look for solid planetary core, map magnetic field, measure water and ammonia in deep atmosphere, and observe auroras.

The study is published across four separate articles in the journal nature (1,2,3 and 4), covering the planets asymmetrical gravitational field, polar cyclones, atmospheric flows and interior makeup. "Until now, we only had a superficial understanding of them and have been able to relate these stripes to cloud features along Jupiter's jets". Gravity measurements collected by Juno during its close flybys of the planet have now provided an answer.

Nasa's Juno Jupiter probe has completed ten of its science missions so far and the space agency has put out a few of its latest findings and images shot close to the planet's poles.

NASA's Juno probe has captured incredible images of the huge cyclones that surround Jupiter's north and south poles - and they're unlike anything in the solar system.

"We didn't know whether a gaseous planet like Jupiter rotates with zones and belts all the way to the centre, or whether on the contrary the atmospheric patterns are skin-deep".

The image here is a composite image derived from data collecting by the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper and is of the central cyclone at the north pole of the planet. Thus, by measuring the imbalance - the changes in the planet's gravitational field - the scientists' analytical tools would be able to calculate how deep the storms extend below the surface.

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Another paper in Nature based on Juno's data suggests that beneath this weather layer, the planet's core, made up of helium and hydrogen, rotates as a practically rigid body - a phenomenon that was also previously unknown to scientists.

The lead author of a Nature paper on Jupiter's deep weather layer Yohai Kaspi talked about Jupiter's extended jets.

Juno is now scheduled to remain in orbit around Jupiter until July 2018, but NASA is looking at ways to extend the mission.

"They have very violent winds, reaching, in some cases, speeds as great as 220 miles per hour (350 kph)".

But since July 2016 around the gas giant circling NASA space probe Juno has now opened up new possibilities of Jupitererkundung.

Clusters of cyclones encircling Jupiter's poles. They also reveal that the unusual bands are related to jet streams which extend some 3,000 km down below the gas giant's surface.

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"We are beginning to realize that not all gas giants are created equal", said Alberto Adriani, a scientist on the Juno project.

Last month, Nasa revealed that the great red spot over Jupiter, its defining feature, will most likely be gone in about a decade. This is not only important and exciting, in order to better understand the gas planets in our own solar system. Scientists thought they'd find something similar to the six-sided cloud system spinning over Saturn's north pole.

The $1 billion Juno mission, which NASA launched in 2011, is expected to continue to reveal more of Jupiter's secrets.

Nearly all the polar cyclones, at both poles, are so densely packed that their spiral arms come in contact with adjacent cyclones.

Principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute Scott Bolton said the new science results are yet another example of Jupiter's curve balls.

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