Chaotic clouds of Jupiter

Juno captured this image of swirling cloud belts and tumultuous vortices in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere during the spacecraft’s 13th close flyby of Jupiter in May.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft took this color-enhanced image on May 23, 2018, as it performed its 13th close flyby of planet Jupiter. At the time, Juno was about 9,600 miles (15,500 km) from the planet’s cloud tops, above a northern latitude of 56 degrees.

Here’s a description of the image, from a NASA statement:

The region seen here is somewhat chaotic and turbulent, given the various swirling cloud formations. In general, the darker cloud material is deeper in Jupiter’s atmosphere, while bright cloud material is high. The bright clouds are most likely ammonia or ammonia and water, mixed with a sprinkling of unknown chemical ingredients.

A bright oval at bottom center stands out in the scene. This feature appears uniformly white in ground-based telescope observations. However, with JunoCam we can observe the fine-scale structure within this weather system, including additional structures within it. There is not significant motion apparent in the interior of this feature; like the Great Red Spot, its winds probably slow down greatly toward the center.

Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran created this image using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager. If you’re interested in seeing JunoCam’s raw images, they’re available for the public to peruse and process into image products here.

Bottom line: Juno spacecraft image of planet Jupiter.

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Eleanor Imster