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Technology & Entrepreneurship

Jupiter A Lot More Exciting Under Those Clouds

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles

Towering cyclones hundreds of miles wide, ammonia snow, and deep plumes of moving ammonia -- scientists say Jupiter’s composition is completely different than the world first thought. 

The first deep dive into NASA's Jupiter mission -- Juno – was explained Thursday.

Southwest Research Institute's Scott Bolton runs the mission and says many of their predictions about Jupiter's atmosphere were incorrect because of faulty biases about the impact of the low sunlight

“A lot of assumptions were that once you turn off that energy that maybe everything would be uniform and boring and so this is making us rethink," Bolton said.

Juno uses ultraviolet and infrared spectrometers and a microwave radiometer to pierce the heavy clouds masking what's below. 

The JUNO spacecraft arrived at Jupiter last July 4.  The preliminary findings were published in a special edition of the journal Science