NASA has identified an ominous-looking hole in the clouds of Jupiter and admitted it cannot explain why the ‘abyss’ has appeared. The strange dark spot was glimpsed by the Juno probe as it orbited the huge gas giant planet.
It appears to be sitting at the middle of a ‘vortex’ and is likely to be quite deep, although its true characteristics are not known at this stage. Nasa wrote: ‘What’s that black spot on Jupiter?
No one is sure. ‘During the latest pass of NASA’s Juno around Jupiter, the robotic spacecraft imaged an unusually dark cloud feature informally dubbed the Abyss.
‘Surrounding cloud patterns show the Abyss to be at the centre 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.’
Our beautiful planet is a huge ball of rock and metal covered by life-sustaining oceans and huge landmasses. Jupiter, on the other hand, is a mysterious cloud-shrouded gas giant which may not even have a surface for humans to stand on.