NASA's Juno spacecraft took a color-enhanced image of the swirling clouds and tumultuous vortices within the northern hemisphere of planet Jupiter.
Image Processed By Citizen Scientists
Juno took the photo on May 23 as it performed its 13th close flyby of the gas giant. Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran used data from Juno's JunoCam imager to create a color-enhanced image of what appears like a stunning oil painting.
The U.S space agency posts raw images taken by the JunoCam camera and encourages the public to download and process the images, as well as to share these images.
"Creativity and curiosity in the scientific spirit and the adventure of space exploration is highly encouraged and we look forward to seeing Jupiter through not only JunoCam's eyes, but your own." NASA said.
Stunning Oil-Painting-Like Image Of Jupiter's Chaotic Clouds
The image NASA shared on June 22, shows resemblance to Vincent Van Gogh's famous 1889 "Starry Night" painting, which depicts a scene of swirly clouds and stars, and a bright yellow moon.
"At the time, Juno was about 9,600 miles (15,500 kilometers) from the planet's cloud tops, above a northern latitude of 56 degrees," NASA said.
The image shows a chaotic and turbulent region of various swirling cloud formations. The darker blue-green spirals represent cloud material that lies deeper in the Jovian atmosphere. The bright hues represent clouds that are high above and are likely made of ammonia, or ammonia and water that are mixed with unknown chemical ingredients.
A bright oval at the bottom center appears uniformly white in ground-based telescope. NASA said that the JunoCam imager aboard the Jump spacecraft showed the fine-scale structure within this weather system, which include other structures within it.
The Juno spacecraft was launched in August 2011 and arrived in orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016. The mission aims to study the gravitational and magnetic fields, and the thick atmosphere of the largest planet in the solar system.
Earlier this month, the U.S. space agency said that the Juno mission is extended for another three years following an assessment that the probe is still capable of collecting science data. NASA green-lighted an update to the mission's science operations until July 2021.
"NASA has now funded Juno through FY 2022. The end of prime operations is now expected in July 2021, with data analysis and mission close-out activities continuing into 2022," NASA said.