NASA to reveal new findings in Jupiter’s atmosphere on Thursday

NASA has announced that it will hold a virtual media briefing to discuss new findings from the Juno spacecraft.

NASA stated that the upcoming briefing on Thursday will reveal “new findings that provide the first 3D look at how the planet’s roiling atmosphere operates underneath the top layers of clouds, and how these revelations offer insight into the atmospheres of giant planets elsewhere in the universe.”

What these “new findings” are exactly, is still anyone’s guess.

NASA’s Juno mission has been exploring Jupiter from orbit, beaming back incredible photos, atmospheric data, and other measurements about the largest planet in our solar system.

The Juno spacecraft launched in August 2011 and entered Jovian orbit in July of 2016. It is currently the furthest spacecraft ever to be powered by solar arrays, and will be until NASA’s newly set out Lucy spacecraft reaches the first of Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids in 2027.

Juno is already responsible for a heap of breakthroughs made throughout its mission. Most notability, being the first mission to closely study, and photograph, Jupiter’s north pole – a large bluish region full of giant storms and strange dynamic weather. In the past, the data collected from over the northern pole have showed how these spiraling planet-size storms smack together as they spin, but don’t merge.

This image shows Jupiter’s south pole, as seen by NASA’s Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles (52,000 kilometers). Image credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles

Most recently, last year the spacecraft solved a water mystery that has stumped scientists for decades. In 1995 the now-departed Galileo spacecraft dropped a probe into Jupiter’s atmosphere and found that it was unexpectedly dry – Possessing 10 times less water than scientists expected. But was this actually the case? It turns out the answer was no. Thanks to Juno’s Microwave Radiometer (MWR), NASA scientists were able to confirm that previous hypotheses were correct and that there was even an abundance of water in atmospheric regions near the gas giant’s equator.

From these discoveries, revealed by NASA in the past, one thing is certain – Juno does not disappoint.

The anticipated event will take place at 3 p.m. EDT Thursday, Oct. 28 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, which is where the mission is operated. The panel of participants includes Lucas Paganini (Juno program scientist), Marzia Parisi (Juno scientist at JPL), Keren Duer (Juno scientist at Weizmann Institute of Science), and others.

Tune into the virtual media briefing live on NASA TV or NASA’s YouTube channel. You can also follow along on our Twitter, as the Space Explored team will be live-tweeting the event.

Featured image: Rendered close up of Jovian cyclone by insh.world

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