Jupiter's north pole is 'unlike anything' researchers have seen

NASA’s Juno spacecraft recently captured stunning images of Jupiter’s north pole during a flyby on Aug. 27.

The images were taken from 2,500 miles above Jupiter’s clouds, during the first of 36 flybys Juno will make around the planet, according to NASA.

While Jupiter is recognizable to many for its colorful stripes and red spot, the pictures show a planet that is hardly obvious, Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, said in a statement. 

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“First glimpse of Jupiter’s north pole, and it looks like nothing we have seen or imagined before,” Bolton said. “It’s bluer in color up there than other parts of the planet, and there are a lot of storms.”

The storm activity and weather patterns are vastly different than those previously seen on other gas-giant planets in our solar system, according to NASA.

Juno took the images during a six-hour transmit from above the planet’s north pole to the south pole.

Juno arrived at Jupiter on July 4.

The $1 billion ship spent almost five years traveling to the giant planet, where it's slated to study what lies beneath the swirling clouds. Its mission will end in early 2018 when it will deliberately burn up in Jupiter's atmosphere.

Follow @MaryBowerman on Twitter. 


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