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See Dramatic Cyclones Churning on Jupiter’s Surface in These New NASA Photos

2 minute read

Extraordinary new images released by NASA show the ‘gas giant’ Jupiter as it’s never been seen before.

The out-of-this-world images, which are derived from data collected from NASA’s Juno spacecraft, show a multitude of massive cyclones on Jupiter, churning around the planet’s north and south poles.

Data suggests that Jupiter’s atmospheric winds last longer than similar atmospheric processes found here on Earth and are unlike anything else in our solar system, NASA explains. The information will be used by scientists to better understand the planet’s interior structure, core mass and, hopefully over time, its origin.

“These astonishing science results are yet another example of Jupiter’s curve balls, and a testimony to the value of exploring the unknown from a new perspective with next-generation instruments,” said Scott Bolton, who is working on the Juno mission from the Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio.

The Juno mission, which reached the gas giant after a five-year trek, provides a new perspective on the fifth planet which scientists have struggled to study because of its cloud cover. The spacecraft takes batches of photos about every 53 days as it orbits Jupiter.

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Write to Kate Samuelson at kate.samuelson@time.com