Juno's Photo of a Giant Storm on Jupiter Is Unbelievable

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 - 12:05PM
Space
Astronomy
Space Imagery
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Tuesday, 21 November 2017 - 12:05PM
Juno's Photo of a Giant Storm on Jupiter Is Unbelievable
Image credit: NASA
NASA's Juno spacecraft caught a glimpse of a monster storm in Jupiter's northern hemisphere and the resulting photo is nothing short of breathtaking.

Taken on Oct. 24, 2017 at 1:32 p.m. EST during a close pass of the massive, gaseous planet, Juno was nearly 6,300 miles from the tops of the Jovian clouds at a latitude of 41.84 degrees.

The tempest is rotating counter-clockwise, and features several cloud altitudes. The darker clouds are expected to be deeper in the atmosphere than the brightest clouds. The portions of the storm branching outward are also showing smaller banks of clouds, with some casting rightward shadows.

Juno determined that updrafts mixing ammonia ice crystals and water ice are likely present in the storm.

Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran processed this image using data taken from the JunoCam imager.

Designed in particular to take images of the Jovian polar regions, the JunoCam specializes in taking photos of cloud tops.

Unfortunately for NASA, it doesn't have the data volume to look at every single image taken. Amateur astronomers are welcomed to use JunoCam to grab images and contribute by downloading the raw data and process with color enhancing and collaging, among other possibilities, then render either in TIF or PNG (or FITS) formats. 
 

 
Be sure to also include an unprocessed version, as well as the date, time and who you are; the full set of submission guidelines is available here.
 
NASA also invites the public to vote on where Juno takes its photos next. Traveling in a 53-day orbit, the craft takes as many photos as possible when within range.

Because Juno's amount of onboard data storage is limited, image collecting is a selective process. During each close pass (or "PeriJove," or "PJ"), NASA will present its goals and any constraints, and then the public can use that when voting on what the main points of interest should be. 
 
Juno's chief goal is to understand the origin and development of Jupiter, and although astronaut school isn't in everyone's wheelhouse, this is as easy to explore as having an internet connection.
 
Science
NASA
Space
Astronomy
Space Imagery
Juno's Photo of a Giant Storm on Jupiter Is Unbelievable
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