First of all, apologies for being a day late with this post. Secondly, just look at these amazing pictures!
These images are amongst those sent back from the Juno spacecraft currently orbiting Jupiter. Every 50 days or so the craft swoops in low and goes from pole to pole giving us close up views of parts of Jupiter that we have never seen before as, from earth, we can only get a clear view of the giant planet’s equatorial regions. The image above, of the south pole, I predict will become one of the iconic space images of all time; right up there with the Pillars of Creation and other such master pieces from Hubble.
Look at those swirls! It is very much worth looking at the full size version of this image, you can see it in the NASA website here. If you are interested in some of the actual science data coming out of the project then there is a new article published in Science for you to peruse. The main scientific goals of the Juno mission were to do with understanding Jupiter’s core and its magnetic properties; hopefully this would allow us to gain greater insights not only into how Jupiter was formed but also the solar system as a whole.
And remember, the JUNO-CAM, which is producing these astonishing images for us, was never a part of the main scientific mission; it was only ever added on for public engagement and, boy, am I glad they did so.