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NASA releases ‘turbulent’ photo of Jupiter’s clouds

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NASA releases ‘turbulent’ photo of Jupiter’s clouds

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NASA releases ‘turbulent’ photo of Jupiter’s clouds

NASA released an image taken by the Juno spacecraft of Jupiter, featuring swirling cloud belts on the giant planet’s northern hemisphere.

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Catch the sights and sounds NASA’s Juno space probe captured as it orbited Jupiter.
USA TODAY

Jupiter looks less like a planet and more like a painting in a new image released by NASA.

The image captures Jupiter’s “chaotic and turbulent” clouds, with swirling formations and several vortices in the giant planet’s northern hemisphere.

The image was taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft on May 23 during its 13th close flyby of the planet. Juno was about 9,600 miles from the top of Jupiter’s clouds at the time.

NASA said the bright clouds featured in the image are “most likely ammonia or ammonia and water, mixed with a sprinkling of unknown chemical ingredients,” according to a post detailing the new image.

Earlier this month, NASA said Juno might have uncovered details on the mysterious lightning appearing on the giant planet.

In the data from Juno’s first eight passes by the planet, the spacecraft’s Microwave Radiometer Instrument (MWR), scientists learned the lightning can be as frequent as it is on Earth. However, where it’s located and how it originates are quite different.

“Jupiter lightning distribution is inside out relative to Earth,” Juno scientist and lead author of the paper Shannon Brown said in a statement. “There is a lot of activity near Jupiter’s poles but none near the equator. You can ask anybody who lives in the tropics — this doesn’t hold true for our planet.”

More: Stunning NASA photo shows blue sand dune on Mars, the Red Planet

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

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