NASA has released the latest photos from its Juno Mission to Jupiter, which show our solar system's largest planet in a whole new light.
The gas giant, which is 588 million kilometres from Earth, has been described by the space agency as a 'complex, gigantic, turbulent world, with Earth-sized polar cyclones,' and plunging storm systems that travel deep to the planet's heart.
This week, NASA is expected to publish the findings of Juno, which was launched in 2011 and entered the planet's orbit in July last year.
"We are excited to share these early discoveries, which help us better understand what makes Jupiter so fascinating," Diane Brown, the program executive of Juno, said.
"It was a long trip to get to Jupiter, but these first results already demonstrate it was well worth the journey."
The latest stunning photos from Juno depict Jupiter's south pole from an altitude of 52,000 kilometres and shows cyclones up to 1,000 kilometres in diameter.
"We're puzzled as to how they could be formed, how stable the configuration is, and why Jupiter's north pole doesn't look like the south pole," Scott Bolton, Juno's principal investigator, said.
"We're questioning whether this is a dynamic system, and are we seeing just one stage, and over the next year, we're going to watch it disappear, or is this a stable configuration and these storms are circulating around one another?"
It is hoped that Juno will continue to aid researchers in their quest to learn more about the evolution of Jupiter, with its findings expected to provide critical knowledge for understanding planetary systems.
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