NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 23 March 2023: Breathtaking swirls of Jupiter | Tech News

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 23 March 2023: Breathtaking swirls of Jupiter

Today’s NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day is a snapshot of Jupiter’s swirls, formed due to the storms raging on the surface of the planet.

| Updated on: May 23 2023, 12:28 IST
Spectacular NASA Astronomy Pictures of the Week: Eagle Nebula, Dark Sunspots and more
NASA jupiter
1/5 The mesmerizing Eagle Nebula (May 15) - This is a snapshot of M16, also known as the Eagle Nebula which spans about 20 light-years across. The nebula, discovered in 1745 by the Swiss astronomer Jean-Philippe Loys de Chéseaux, is located 7,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Serpens, according to NASA. (NASA/Gianni Lacroce)
NASA jupiter
2/5 Sun’s Corona visible during solar eclipse (May 16) - Sun’s Corona was shot during a total solar eclipse. Temperatures in the Sun’s Corona can reach up to 2 million degrees and it is also the region where solar wind originates, according to NASA. While the hottest part of the Sun is its core, one of its most puzzling features is its Corona which extends more than 1 million kilometers from its surface. (NASA/Reinhold Wittich)
NASA jupiter
3/5 Sun’s Dark Sunspots (May 17) - Sunspots on the surface of the Sun in the active region AR 3297 were captured in this image. According to NASA, Sunspots are dark areas on the solar surface that contain strong magnetic fields that are constantly shifting and can form and dissipate over periods of days or weeks. They occur when strong magnetic fields emerge through the solar surface and allow the area to cool slightly. (NASA/Mark Johnston)
NASA jupiter
4/5 Breathtaking WR134 Ring Nebula (May 18) -  It is a breathtaking snapshot of the WR134 Ring Nebula, located about 6000 light-years from Earth towards the constellation Cygnus. At the center of the Nebula is the Wolf Rayet star WR 134 named after French astronomers Charles Wolf and Georges Rayet. (NASA/Craig Stocks)
NASA jupiter
5/5 Snapshot of M63 Curly Spiral Galaxy (May 19) - The celestial object captured in this image is the M63 Curly Spiral Galaxy which is located about 30 million light-years away towards the constellation Canes Venatici. Also known as NGC 5055, this spiral galaxy spans almost 100,000 light-years. Spiral Galaxies like M63 are disks of stars, gas, and dust that have bright bulges in their centers made up primarily of older and dimmer stars. (NASA/Sophie Paulin/Jens Unger/Jakob Sahner)
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Jupiter’s largest storms can be as large as planet Earth. ( NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS)

Jupiter is the fifth planet in the solar system, and it is by far the biggest one. In fact, it is twice as big as all the other planets in our solar system combined. Jupiter is also known as the Gas Giant due to a dense atmosphere of hydrogen and helium with windy clouds of ammonia. It also has the most moons in the solar system, with 92 confirmed moons with orbits, according to International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center.

Today's NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day is a snapshot of Jupiter's swirls, formed due to the storms raging on the surface of the planet. According to NASA, The planet has also been harboring various natural phenomena for hundreds of years. Jupiter's iconic Great Red Spot is a giant storm bigger than Earth that has raged for hundreds of years.

Tech used to capture the image

This stunning picture was captured by NASA's Juno probe, which is part of a long-term mission to understand the weather and the dynamics of the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter. According to NASA, Juno uses a spinning, solar-powered spacecraft in a highly elliptical polar orbit that avoids most of Jupiter's high radiation regions. It has sophisticated instruments such as JunoCam, Ultraviolet Spectrograph, Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper, and Microwave Radiometer to study the gas giant extensively.

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NASA has warned that the Juno spacecraft is in good condition at present, despite its extended mission, but will have a limited lifespan due to having absorbed heavy amounts of radiation from Jupiter.

NASA's description of the picture

Big storms are different on Jupiter. On Earth, huge hurricanes and colossal cyclones are centered on regions of low pressure, but on Jupiter, it is the high-pressure, anti-cyclone storms that are the largest. On Earth, large storms can last weeks, but on Jupiter, they can last years. On Earth, large storms can be as large as a country, but on Jupiter, large storms can be as large as planet Earth. Both types of storms are known to exhibit lightning.

The featured image of Jupiter's clouds was composed of images and data captured by the robotic Juno spacecraft as it swooped close to the massive planet in August 2020. A swirling white oval is visible nearby, while numerous smaller cloud swirls extend into the distance. On Jupiter, light-colored clouds are usually higher up than dark clouds. Despite their differences, studying storm clouds on distant Jupiter provides insights into storms and other weather patterns on familiar Earth.

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First Published Date: 23 May, 12:25 IST