WATCH | Images from Jupiter show Juno’s wondrous discoveries
The first discoveries from NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter are helping investigators understand much more about the planet than was previously known.
It took five years for Juno to reach Jupiter, but on July 4, 2016, it entered the planet's orbit and started collecting data, according to NASA, and now the findings from the first data-collection pass from August will be published.
“We knew, going in, that Jupiter would throw us some curves, But now that we are here we are finding that Jupiter can throw the heat, as well as knuckleballs and sliders. There is so much going on here that we didn’t expect that we have had to take a step back and begin to rethink of this as a whole new Jupiter," said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.
According to NASA, Earth-sized storms above Jupiter's poles, mysterious zones in the Microwave Radiometer and an even stronger magnetic field than previously believed are just a few of the things that have surprised investigators about the first findings.
“Every 53 days, we go screaming by Jupiter, get doused by a fire hose of Jovian science, and there is always something new. On our next flyby on July 11, we will fly directly over one of the most iconic features in the entire solar system -- one that every school kid knows -- Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. If anybody is going to get to the bottom of what is going on below those mammoth swirling crimson cloud tops, it’s Juno and her cloud-piercing science instruments," Bolton said.
The first findings will be published later this week in the journal Science, as well as Geophysical Research Letters. More information and pictures can also be found at missionjuno.org.