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NASA Releases First-Ever Close-Up Images of Jupiter's North Pole (npr.org) 54

NASA has released the first close-up images of Jupiter's north pole captured by the Juno spacecraft, taken during the probe's first flyby of the planet with its instruments switched on. "The images show storm systems and weather activity unlike anything previously seen on any of our solar system's gas-giant planets," writes Tony Greicius via NASA. NPR reports: "NASA also released an image of Jupiter's southern aurora, a unique view that could be captured only by a spacecraft close to Jupiter. The aurora occurs when energized particles from the sun interact with Jupiter's atmosphere near the planet's poles. The space agency also released audio of what the aurora sounds like if you convert it to a frequency the human ear can hear. The pictures and data were collected Aug. 27, when June made the first of some three dozen scheduled close encounters with Jupiter. At its closest approach, the spacecraft was a mere 2,500 miles above the planet's cloud tops." The images can be found here. You can also listen to Jupiter's auroras via YouTube. Spoiler: they sound like a dial-up modem.
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NASA Releases First-Ever Close-Up Images of Jupiter's North Pole

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  • by Mal-2 ( 675116 ) on Saturday September 03, 2016 @02:12AM (#52820167) Homepage Journal

    That really doesn't sound anything like a dial-up modem, but I think I know what it is.

    It's just the newest Aphex Twin release. [youtube.com]

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      To me it sounds like Darth Vader stuck in a jet engine, especially the middle part.

    • Actually this sounds like the tunes commonly used in every sci-fi show I used to watch in my childhood. You know... the kind that's supposed to thrill you with that great wonder vibe when scrolling through starry SPAAACE!!!
  • ...shots yet to come. Hey, we know Juno went through Hell to take those pictures. But the Voyagers have accustomed us to juicier images. That's only the beginning anyway, and due to distance, bandwidth etc... we'll get better soon, hopefully.
    • I was in Hell [wikipedia.org] just a couple of weeks ago--didn't see any sign of it there.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Rei ( 128717 )

      Good to know I'm not the only person underwhelmed by Juno.

      I tried to get myself excited about this one, but I just can't. The target is way down on my list of "unsolved things in the solar system to investigate", and the mission profile uninteresting. I was telling myself, well, at least you're going to get a bunch of pretty pictures out of it. Well, honestly, these aren't that great, and this was the closest pass. The quality is underwhelming, and at least to my eye the poles look basically like the re

      • by Anonymous Coward

        This is primarily a plasma physics experiment in an environment more extreme than what we've looked at before. We've learned a lot about fundamental plasma physics and space weather from simple satellites in high Earth orbit or solar orbits near the Earth. Many of those had no cameras at all, and were virtually unmentioned in popular news (or even Slashdot...). The results of such work can have actual, practical terrestrial impact, as the results are often heavily used and cited by work trying to underst

        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          We've learned a lot about fundamental plasma physics and space weather from simple satellites in high Earth orbit

          And how many of them cost $1,1B?

          more exciting or make prettier pictures,

          I'm not talking about "pretty pictures" either. You consider "the internal structure and weather of Jupiter" as pretty high up there on the priority list. How does that even compare to other things we could be spending our money on? Let me just toss a couple examples out there.

          * Finding out whether the solar syst

          • by Anonymous Coward

            And how many of them cost $1,1B?

            The Cluster mission cost about $700 M (2016 USD) originally close to the original Juno budget of $700M... but the suffered launch failure and was important enough that they spent another $350 M to rebuild and relaunch... so yeah, a total of more than a billion dollars. The results from this were impressive enough that NASA is building an updated version of the mission, MMS, with a $950M budget... that is now going to go over by $100-200M from the looks of things.

            I'm not talking about "pretty pictures" either.

            Let me quote your previous post:

            I was telling myself, well, at least you're going to get a bunch of pretty pictures out of it. Well, honestly, these aren't that great, and this was the closest pass. The quality is underwhelming, and at least to my eye the poles look basically like the rest of the planet, just with more upwelling-driven storms and less banding effects.

            You didn't j

            • by Rei ( 128717 )

              And how many of them cost $1,1B?

              The Cluster mission cost about $700 M (2016 USD) originally close to the original Juno budget of $700M... but the suffered launch failure and was important enough that they spent another $350 M to rebuild and relaunch

              So we're going to combine Cluster and Cluster II to try to find something even close in terms of budget, are we? Which together represent a total of 8 separate satellites built in the largest orbital plasma science mission conducted to date, taught us far more a

      • Rather than returning an asteroid sample to Earth, I would rather see a probe that could expand on Rosetta-style station keeping to make multiple contacts with an asteroid and do microscopic analysis of its surface at each place. Such an asteroidal assay mission would be the first step toward mining.

      • Oh, and just for the snark value I would name my mission New Gunner Girls.

  • Actually, Pioneer 11 did it first [nasa.gov] in the mid 1970's

    • Yeah, but at the time they knew how to make better pictures.
  • If you you convert it to frequencies in the audible range, demodulate it at 2400 baud, covert the data to ascii, then ROT13 decode it, it will read "Make America Great Again". Just ask Donald Trump. He told me.
  • when June made the first of

    The probe is named "Juno", as in Mrs Jove. You know, Jupiter's first wife.
    --
    Cheap, Fast, Good -- you have selected "None of the Above"?

  • by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Saturday September 03, 2016 @09:52AM (#52821043)
    I too have been hoping for stunning and terrifying up close images of Jupiter, however it comes as no surprise that they are not so incredible. They sent the probe into the harshest space environment in the solar system: the fierce radiation at the north pole of Jupiter. They sent the probe to do hard science, not send back inspiring photos - although we have eighteen months of mission left so we will see. A large part of the mission follows the mantra, "Get in and get the hell out". Which is to say before they lose the probe to radiation. The entirety of the mission is 18 months, so we will have to wait and see what follows.
  • TL;DR: Shut up about the fucking camera. That is not why Juno is there, and it is the best camera we know how to build for that environment.
    -----
    Juno is not there to fill your porn cache with superficial visible light dick pics Jupiter.

    Juno is orbiting in the second most actively destructive (for a probe) orbital environment in this solar system. The only one worse is the coronal atmosphere of Sol.... and there is nothing we know how to build that would survive there for long enough to justify the attem

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