“A Strange Alien World” –NASA’s Newly Released Juno Flyby Photos of Jupiter




Enter an alien world of Mars-sized polar cyclones, colossal swirling storm systems that travel deep into the heart of the gas giant, and a gigantic magnetic field that may indicate it was generated closer to the planet’s surface than previously thought.

“Every 53 days, we go screaming by Jupiter, get doused by a fire hose of Jovian science, and there is always something new,” said Juno principal investigator Scott Bolton from the Southwest Research Institute. “On our next flyby on July 11, we will fly directly over one of the most iconic features in the entire solar system — one that every school kid knows — Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. If anybody is going to get to the bottom of what is going on below those mammoth swirling crimson cloud tops, it’s Juno and her cloud-piercing science instruments.”

Juno is in a polar orbit around Jupiter, and the majority of each orbit is spent well away from the gas giant. But, once every 53 days, its trajectory approaches Jupiter from above its north pole, where it begins a two-hour transit (from pole to pole) flying north to south with its eight science instruments collecting data and its JunoCam public outreach camera snapping pictures. The download of six megabytes of data collected during the transit can take 1.5 days.



 The images above and belwo shows the South Pole which shows that the polar cloud structure at Jupiter is very different from that at Saturn. The bright lights in the ultraviolet below are the auroras over Jupiter’s southern pole.




This enhanced-color image of a mysterious dark spot on Jupiter seems to reveal a Jovian “galaxy” of swirling storms.


Team members from NASA’s Juno mission invited the public to process raw Juno images and post their results, like this one submitted by user Eric Jorgensen.



Taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft, this image highlights a swirling storm just south of one of the white oval cyclones on Jupiter.



This view of Jupiter, taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft, highlights one of its swirling storm systems.




NASA’s Juno spacecraft skimmed the upper wisps of Jupiter’s atmosphere when it this image on February 2, 2017, from about 9,000 miles above the giant planet’s swirling cloud tops.



The sunlit part of Jupiter and its swirling atmosphere shine in this Juno image processed by citizen scientist Alex Mai. Juno’s raw images are available online for the public to peruse and process.




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