Space Photos of the Week: Jupiter Is a Storm-Eat-Storm World
Space goes on practically forever, but this week, for the most part, we are taking a focused tour of our own personal solar system. First, let’s check out our Martian neighbor’s odd-looking dunes that are moved around and shaped by winds.
Then it's onward to the giant Jupiter! Ever since astronomers started observing this planet, they haven’t been able to take their eyes off its atmosphere’s thick bands of clouds that wrap around it like ribbons. Over time as telescopes got better and spacecraft flew closer, the tempestuous nature of Jupiter became ever more clear: This big ball of gas is covered with storms. Now that Juno is in orbit around the planet, we can see these cyclones and cloud patterns in intricate detail. We’re seeing storms gobble up other storms to grow into superstorms. Talk about climate change!
Let’s turn to Saturn and its awesome, out-of-this-world rings. But don’t get too relaxed and comfortable. Astronomers relied on the rings to ascertain how long a day is over there. It's only about half as long as ours is, so if you can barely do what you need to do in 24 hours on Earth, better stay off this dazzling planet.
For a parting shot, check out a nebula featuring the final, gassy gasps of a dying star. We are going out with a bang!
Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, stars, and galaxies aren’t even the half of it. Have a look at WIRED’s full collection of space photos here.
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