Monday, 5 September 2016

by jove!

Unlike with other planets, astronomers had never been privy to a glimpse of the polar regions of Jupiter beforehand—since this gas giant and its constellation of satellites just fails to reach the critical mass of sustaining nuclear fusion and is more like a star with its own solar system than part of our own has no significant tilt to its axis.
With other worlds, scientists can spy the poles, given enough patience when the planets lean into their seasons, but being so massive, Jupiter is not obliged to (or maybe it does but tilts the rest of the solar system with it). Though already primed with excitement of seeing a wholly new face of Jupiter, no one was quite prepared for the vision of its aurora at the southern pole, a huge blue polygonal typhoon that looks like a completely new planet, rather than the expected continuation of autumnal, harvest-coloured storm bands. Meteorologists and astronomers alike are intently studying these preliminary findings, hoping to be able to explain the fluid-dynamics and dynamism of the down-under.