Science: Intimate Glimpses of a Giant

Rendezvous with Jupiter reveals a beautiful, violent world

Seething gases and liquids mask its rocky core. Its frigid atmosphere consists mostly of hydrogen and helium. Great cyclones and hurricanes swirl in its turbulent sky, with brilliant red and orange clouds constantly merging and breaking apart in ever changing patterns. Often the turbulence creates trails of sinuous white vapors thousands of miles long. The awesome, forbiddingly beautiful world is that of Jupiter, a planet so large it could swallow more than 1,300 earths.

Last week, after a journey of 18 months, a tiny visitor from earth...

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