U.S.A. (CNN)(12/16/19)— NASA’s Juno mission spotted a new cyclone the size of Texas during a close fly by of Jupiter in November.
Jupiter is already home to several giant cyclones, and this newly discovered storm will offer even more insight into the gas giant’s atmosphere.
Juno’s cameras spotted several giant cyclones gathered at Jupiter’s poles, nine to the north and six to the south, shortly after its arrival in July of 2016.
The central cyclone at the heart of these gatherings was as big as the entire United States.
Five giant cyclones seemed to hold court at the south pole, keeping in a tight and stable formation around this central cyclone, not allowing other, nearby cyclones to join their pentagon-like formation.
But on November 3, Juno flew 2,175 miles above Jupiter’s clouds, conducting its 22nd fly by, revealing a new, smaller cyclone had been allowed to join the exclusive group.
All these cyclones have a similar sustained velocity of about 225 miles per hour.
Scientists hope this data can offer insight not only on Jupiter, but other gas and ice giants in our solar system, as well as how the atmospheres of exoplanets may behave, possibly even giving us some insight into similar storms on Earth.
NASA’s Juno mission is scheduled to orbit and study Jupiter until July of 2021.
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