NASA's Juno captures AWESOME images as it dives over the tops of Jupiter's clouds



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NASA's Juno spacecraft captured an incredible video of Jupiter's cloud tops during a recent flyby of the planet.

The spacecraft is currently in a highly elliptical orbit of 53 days around Jupiter.

Each orbit includes a nearby passageway over Jupiter's cloud platform, where it flies between the north and south poles of the planet.

On December 21, Juno will make its 16th flyover of the planet, at which point it will be 5,940 kilometers above the top of the clouds.

Swirling Clouds of Jupiter

Jack Connerney, deputy principal investigator for Juno, said: "With our 16th passage through science, we will have complete global coverage of Jupiter, albeit with a rough resolution, with polar passages separated by 22.5 degrees of longitude.

"Throughout the second half of our main mission – science flies from 17 to 32 – we will divide the difference, flying just halfway between each previous orbit.

"This will provide coverage of the planet every 11.25 degrees of longitude, providing a more detailed picture of what causes the entire Jupiter brand to be hit."

The spacecraft is currently in a highly elliptical orbit of 53 days around Jupiter

During each flyby, Juno collects important data about Jupiter, including its internal structure and atmosphere.

Scott Bolton, principal investigator at Juno, said: "We've rewrote the textbooks about how Jupiter's atmosphere works, and about the complexity and asymmetry of its magnetic field.

"The second half should provide the details we can use to refine our understanding of the depth of Jupiter's zonal winds, the generation of its magnetic field and the structure and evolution of its interior."

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