NASA's Juno Mission Provides Infrared Tour of Jupiter's North Pole

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NASA's Juno probe continues to whip around Jupiter and beam back incredible new colour photos of the giant planet.

NASA showed a video of a flight over the North pole of the planet Jupiter in the infrared color spectrum. This is the first time that a dynamo has been captured powering a magnetic field on another planet.

"Before Juno, we could only guess what Jupiter's poles would look like", said Dr. Alberto Adriani, Juno co-investigator from the Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology in Rome, Italy.

Visible-light images taken by the probe's JunoCam show a bizarrely symmetric pattern of anticyclonic or backward-spinning storms.

The data from Juno's InfraRed Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument was used to create a 3-D fly-around of the planet's north pole.

The 3D flyover video was unveiled on Wednesday during the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna, Austria.

Temperatures depicted in the video can range from 9 degrees Fahrenheit (-13 degrees Celsius) to -117 degrees Fahrenheit (-83 degrees Celsius).

According to NASA, the temperature readings and 3D reconstruction "provide insight into how the powerful cyclones at Jupiter's poles work". The new global portrait reveals unexpected irregularities and regions of surprising magnetic field intensity.

An infrared view of Jupiter's North Pole.

"Prior to Juno, we could not distinguish between extreme models of Jupiter's interior rotation, which all fitted the data collected by Earth-based observations, and other deep space missions", said Tristan Guillot, a Juno co-investigator.

Jack Connerney of the Space Research Corporation says that Juno is only one-third of the way done through the mapping mission. NASA is likely to extend the mission by two or three years, pending a review.

Juno is the NASA spacecraft that allowed experts to take a better look at Jupiter. NASA doesn't want to contaminate those oceans with bacteria from Earth that's stuck to Juno. With "Juno", managed to find out that they are distributed unevenly on the planet - the North magnetic field distribution has a more heterogeneous structure than in the South. In the southern hemisphere, the magnetic field is negative. About halfway between the equator and the north pole lies an area where the magnetic field is intense and positive.

Maps of Jupiter's magnetic field reveal that it is more complex in the northern hemisphere than in the southern hemisphere.

A planetary dynamo is a theory that proposes that there is something within a celestial body that powers its magnetic field.

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