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Massive Cyclones Discovered on Jupiter

Computer-generated image of the cyclones over Jupiter's south pole. (Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/ASI/INAF/JIRAM)

Last month nine cyclones were discovered over Jupiter's north pole and six more over the south pole.  They are each several thousand miles wide and "unlike anything else encountered in our solar system," NASA said on their website.  Wind speeds inside these cyclones exceeded 220 mph in some spots which is stronger than a category 5 hurricane.

Artist's representation of the Juno spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter (Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This new information came from Juno, the NASA spacecraft that has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016.  It also discovered the east-west jet streams that criss-cross through the atmosphere actually extended thousands of miles beneath the clouds.  That means Jupiter's atmosphere is larger and extends deeper than we thought.  Remember Jupiter is made of mostly gas, and more than 1300 Earths could fit inside Jupiter. 

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