NASA, the United States space agency has discovered a new cyclone in Jupiter. The discovery was made during a recent flyby of Jupiter by the agency's Juno spacecraft on November 3, 2019. During the close flyby, the spacecraft was almost 2,175 miles above the gas giant.
Texas-size cyclone on Jupiter
The cyclone discovery happened when the mission team was working to preserve the solar-powered spacecraft. Researchers revealed that this new cyclone discovery came as a sheer surprise.
"We realized that the orbit was going to carry Juno into Jupiter's shadow, which could have grave consequences because we're solar powered. No sunlight means no power, so there was a real risk we might freeze to death. While the team was trying to figure out how to conserve energy and keep our core heated, the engineers came up with a completely new way out of the problem: Jump Jupiter's shadow.
It was nothing less than a navigation stroke of genius. Lo and behold, the first thing out of the gate on the other side, we make another fundamental discovery," said Scott Burton, Juno principal investigator in a recent statement.
It should be noted that this is the 22nd cyclone discovered in Jupiter, and this cyclone is as big as Texas. However, this new cyclone is comparatively small when compared to the previous cyclones that formed in Jupiter. The cyclone's wind speeds at an average of 225 miles per hour, and this velocity is quite similar to the speed attained by other cyclones.
Scientists believe that more data provided by the Juno spacecraft will help to reshape human understanding about the formation and evolution of cyclones in Jupiter.
The mysterious black entity in Jupiter's image
A few months back, Juno spacecraft captured some stunning images of Jupiter, and one of these photos showed a dark black entity on the surface of the planet. As the image seems so spooky in nature, it soon went viral on online platforms.
However, mysteries surrounding this image were soon unveiled, as NASA revealed that the black entity is actually the shadow cast by Jupiter's moon Io.