NASA's $1 billion Jupiter probe has taken mind-bending new photos of the gas giant

NASA launched Juno in 2011, and it t took nearly five years for the probe to reach Jupiter.

NASA launched Juno in 2011, and it t took nearly five years for the probe to reach Jupiter.
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Juno's orbit takes it far beyond Jupiter — then quickly and closely around the world — to minimize exposing electronics to the planet's harsh radiation.

Juno's orbit takes it far beyond Jupiter — then quickly and closely around the world — to minimize exposing electronics to the planet's harsh radiation.
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During each 53.5-day orbit, called a perijove, JunoCam records a new batch of photos.

During each 53.5-day orbit, called a perijove, JunoCam records a new batch of photos.
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The spacecraft is the only one ever to fly above and below Jupiter's poles.

The spacecraft is the only one ever to fly above and below Jupiter's poles.
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Researchers are trying to make sense of the gas giant's swirling mess of polar cloud formations, like these captured during Juno's tenth perijove.

Researchers are trying to make sense of the gas giant's swirling mess of polar cloud formations, like these captured during Juno's tenth perijove.
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The planet's many bands of cloud groups are also a scientific puzzle.

The planet's many bands of cloud groups are also a scientific puzzle.
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Some of the storms seen on Jupiter are larger than Earth's diameter.

Some of the storms seen on Jupiter are larger than Earth's diameter.
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A full set of JunoCam images looks like this:

A full set of JunoCam images looks like this:
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But some fans of the spacecraft have figured out how to stitch them together into time-lapse movies.


Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/SPICE/Gerald Eichstädt

NASA expects Juno to orbit Jupiter for at least a couple more years, and continue beaming back incredible new pictures.

NASA expects Juno to orbit Jupiter for at least a couple more years, and continue beaming back incredible new pictures.
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However, the space agency will eventually destroy the $1 billion robot. This will prevent an accidental crash into Jupiter's icy moon Europa, which may harbor an ocean — and potentially alien life.

However, the space agency will eventually destroy the $1 billion robot. This will prevent an accidental crash into Jupiter's icy moon Europa, which may harbor an ocean — and potentially alien life.

Sources: Business Insider (1, 2)

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