Earlier than expected, the close-ups of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot – made possible by a close sweep past the planet by the Juno spacecraft on July 10 – are beginning to arrive! NASA had said originally not to expect them until July 14, but they started arriving on the 12th! What’s more, NASA has invited “citizen scientists” to help process the images, saying on the JunoCam online database page:
This is where we will post raw images. We invite you to download them, do your own image processing, and we encourage you to upload your creations for us to enjoy and share. The types of image processing we’d love to see range from simply cropping an image to highlighting a particular atmospheric feature, as well as adding your own color enhancements, creating collages and adding advanced color reconstruction.
The citizen-scientist images, as well as the raw images they used for image processing, can be found at:
— NASA's Juno Mission (@NASAJuno) July 12, 2017
Juno, which began orbiting the giant planet on July 4, 2016, came closer to Jupiter last weekend than any spacecraft ever has. In what scientist call Perijove 7 (a perijove is the spacecraft’s closest point in orbit to Jupiter’s center), Juno came as little as 2,200 miles (3,500 km) above Jupiter’s cloudtops. The probe was slightly higher when it was directly over the Great Red Spot (5,600 miles, or 9,000 km), but, still … awesome images ahead as the processing progresses.
For now, enjoy these early images!
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) July 12, 2017
— NASA (@NASA) July 11, 2017
Bottom line: Raw images from Juno’s July 10 extremely close sweep past Jupiter’s Red Spot are beginning to come in. NASA invites you to help process them!
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.