Quit Staring Into It

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The Abyss – that’s what NASA is calling this unusually dark cloud feature observed by the Juno probe during its latest pass over Jupiter. To wit:

Surrounding cloud patterns show the Abyss to be at the center of a vortex. Since dark features on Jupiter’s atmosphere tend to run deeper than light features, the Abyss may really be the deep hole that it appears — but without more evidence that remains conjecture. The Abyss is surrounded by a complex of meandering clouds and other swirling storm systems, some of which are topped by light coloured, high-altitude clouds. The featured image was captured last month while Juno passed only about 15,000 kilometres above Jupiter’s cloud tops. The next close pass of Juno near Jupiter will be in July.

(Image: NASAJunoSwRIMSSSProcessing & LicenseGerald Eichstädt & Sean Doran)

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