NASA captures stunning image of equator of Jupiter – and it’s ENORMOUS

3 min


76
12 shares, 76 points

NASA has been getting up close and personal with Jupiter over the past few years, thanks to its Juno spacecraft which is orbiting the gas giant. The space agency’s mission has revealed a plethora of secrets about Jupiter while also presenting some stunning images.

{%=o.title%}

]]>

Juno’s latest images reveal clouds on top of the gas giant in stunning and high definition detail.

NASA said on its website: “Thick white clouds are present in this JunoCam image of Jupiter’s equatorial zone. These clouds complicate the interpretation of infrared measurements of water.

“At microwave frequencies, the same clouds are transparent, allowing Juno’s Microwave Radiometer to measure water deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere.”

Jupiter is known as the ‘King of the Solar System’ due to its sheer size.

The planet beyond Mars is named as such because it is by far the biggest planet in our galactic neighbourhood with a diameter 10 times smaller than the Sun – by comparison, Earth’s diameter is 109 times smaller than the Sun.

NASA captures stunning image of equator of Jupiter – and it’s ENORMOUS

NASA’s latest image of Jupiter (Image: NASA)

NASA captures stunning image of equator of Jupiter – and it’s ENORMOUS

NASA captures stunning image of equator of Jupiter – and it’s ENORMOUS (Image: NASA)

Jupiter plays a huge part in protecting Earth from asteroids, some experts believe.

The massive planet has such a strong gravitational pull that it helps to keep the asteroid belt – located between Mars and the gas giant – in place so space rocks are not flying around the solar system.

It is also theorised the planet draws loose asteroids, comets and meteors in.

NASA has said on its website: “Astronomers think that if it were not for the giant planet Jupiter exerting its gravitational force on the asteroids in the belt, the inner planets would be constantly bombarded by large asteroids.

“The presence of Jupiter actually protects Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars from repeated asteroid collisions!”.

READ MORE: NASA stunned as Juno craft discovers how much water makes up Jupiter

NASA captures stunning image of equator of Jupiter – and it’s ENORMOUS

Juno has been at Jupiter since 2017 (Image: GETTY)

However, research also found these asteroids in the gas giant’s orbit can push and shove each other to the point where they are ejected from the pull of Jupiter and alter their trajectory.

Some of these asteroids could end up on a collision with Earth.

Kenta Oshima, a researcher at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, wrote in the research paper that the objects which are of the biggest worry are the ones that are on a high-inclination of the solar plane.

The solar plane is the relatively flat and equal level which planets orbit the Sun on – anything above this has a high-inclination.

DON’T MISS
NASA shock: New ‘chaotic, stormy’ Jupiter picture captured by Juno [STUDY]
Asteroid shock: Asteroid which NASA plans to visit has ‘small moon’ [ANNOUNCEMENT]
Jupiter Great Red Spot: Is the iconic storm on Jupiter dying? [INSIGHT]

NASA captures stunning image of equator of Jupiter – and it’s ENORMOUS

Jupiter continues to mesmerise (Image: NASA)

Objects with a high-inclination dip in and out of the planets and other celestial objects, interacting with the gravitational pull of all that is around them.

As they do, their trajectories can slightly change, which is what could push them Earth’s way.

Mr Oshima wrote: “We pointed out the possibility that populations of undetected potentially hazardous asteroids exist at high-inclination locations of these objects.

“We point out that populations of undetected potentially hazardous asteroids of high eccentricity and inclination may reside in Jupiter’s vertically unstable quasi-satellite orbits, which can intersect the orbits of the terrestrial planets, including Earth by reducing their inclinations down to near zero via vertical instability.”


Like it? Share with your friends!

76
12 shares, 76 points

What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
18
hate
confused confused
10
confused
fail fail
4
fail
fun fun
2
fun
geeky geeky
20
geeky
love love
14
love
lol lol
16
lol
omg omg
10
omg
win win
4
win

Read exclusive latest news on entertainment, music, gaming and more topics with unprecedented coverage from around the UK and US.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.