May 25, 2017

NASA's Juno probe reveals chaos on Jupiter

J.E.P. Connerney et al., Science (2017)

The first science results are in from NASA spacecraft Juno's close pass over Jupiter last summer:

  • There are huge cyclones up to 870 miles in diameter at both of Jupiter's poles, which appear to be chaotic and violent.
  • Jupiter's gravitational field is massive - roughly 10 times Earth's magnetic field and greater than what NASA scientists had expected.
  • There's quite a light show on the gas planet. Juno detected electron beams showering energy downward into Jupiter's upper atmosphere, which may be what powered the huge aurorae the probe saw in ultraviolet and infrared images it captured.
  • Unexpectedly, there are signs of ammonia welling up from its deep atmosphere, indicating a giant weather system across the planet.

Big differences: One thing is clear from the first actual looks at Jupiter's surface and atmosphere: it's no Earth. The differences in electron showers between the two planets suggest they behave very differently with their space environments.

How it works: The Juno spacecraft launched in 2011, and made its first close pass of Jupiter on August 27, 2016. Juno was able to fly just above the cloud cover, as low as 2,100 miles above the surface of the planet, and captured time-lapse images of the poles, revealing the enormous cyclones at them. It was also able to measure the thermal structure of Jupiter's atmosphere.

Go deeper

Why the coronavirus pandemic is hitting minorities harder

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The coronavirus’ disproportionate impact on black and Latino communities has become a defining part of the pandemic.

The big picture: That's a result of myriad longstanding inequities within the health care system and the American economy.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 6,804,044 — Total deaths: 362,678 — Total recoveries — 2,788,806Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,909,077 — Total deaths: 109,497 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight coronavirus, CDC says Fauci: "Very concerned" about spread of virus amid George Floyd protests — Cities offer free testing for protesters.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model as use of robots accelerates.
  5. Business: Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.

In photos: George Floyd's North Carolina memorial service

The remains of George Floyd are brought into Cape Fear Conference B Church. Photo: Ed Clemente/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds gathered in Raeford, North Carolina to honor George Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis nearly two weeks ago has sparked nationwide protests against police brutality.

The state of play: This is the second memorial for Floyd. A number of his family members remain in Raeford, including his sister. He was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, The News and Observer reports.