Juno is a NASA spacecraft that has been exploring the biggest planet in our solar system for the last several years. Our fascination with this giant gas planet is only stoked further with gorgeous, swirling images of Jupiter’s stormy surface, and this collection taken by Juno are truly a sight to behold. To wrap your head around the scale of these storms is difficult, considering Jupiter is 300 times more massive than Earth. Indeed, the giant swirls resemble paintings or even milk being poured into an enormous cup of coffee. Juno took five years to travel the 1.74 billion (!!) miles to Jupiter, and will remain in orbit for at least another year, providing more of these gorgeous images of our largest planet. Via Twisted Sifter:
This enhanced-color image of Jupiter’s bands of light and dark clouds was created by citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft. Three of the white oval storms known as the “String of Pearls” are visible near the top of the image. Each of the alternating light and dark atmospheric bands in this image is wider than Earth, and each rages around Jupiter at hundreds of miles (kilometers) per hour. The lighter areas are regions where gas is rising, and the darker bands are regions where gas is sinking. Juno acquired the image on May 19, 2017, at 11:30 a.m. PST (2:30 p.m. EST) from an altitude of about 20,800 miles (33,400 kilometers) above Jupiter’s cloud tops.
This series of enhanced-color images shows Jupiter up close and personal, as NASA’s Juno spacecraft performed its eighth flyby of the gas giant planet. The images were obtained by JunoCam.
This enhanced color view of Jupiter’s cloud tops was processed by citizen scientist Bjorn Jonsson using data from the JunoCam instrument on NASA’s Juno spacecraft. The image highlights a massive counterclockwise rotating storm that appears as a white oval in the gas giant’s southern hemisphere. Juno acquired this image on Feb. 2, 2017, at 6:13 a.m. PDT (9:13 a.m. EDT), as the spacecraft performed a close flyby of Jupiter. When the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 9,000 miles (14,500 kilometers) from the planet.
This image, taken by the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft, highlights a feature on Jupiter where multiple atmospheric conditions appear to collide. This publicly selected target is called “STB Spectre.” The ghostly bluish streak across the right half of the image is a long-lived storm, one of the few structures perceptible in these whitened latitudes where the south temperate belt of Jupiter would normally be. The egg-shaped spot on the lower left is where incoming small dark spots make a hairpin turn.
This image of Jupiter’s iconic Great Red Spot was created by citizen scientist Björn Jónsson using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft. This true-color image offers a natural color rendition of what the Great Red Spot and surrounding areas would look like to human eyes from Juno’s position. The tumultuous atmospheric zones in and around the Great Red Spot are clearly visible.
A dynamic storm at the southern edge of Jupiter’s northern polar region dominates this Jovian cloudscape, courtesy of NASA’s Juno spacecraft. This storm is a long-lived anticyclonic oval named North North Temperate Little Red Spot 1 (NN-LRS-1); it has been tracked at least since 1993, and may be older still. An anticyclone is a weather phenomenon where winds around the storm flow in the direction opposite to that of the flow around a region of low pressure. It is the third largest anticyclonic oval on the planet, typically around 3,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) long. The color varies between red and off-white (as it is now), but this JunoCam image shows that it still has a pale reddish core within the radius of maximum wind speeds.
The Juno spacecraft captured this image when the spacecraft was only 11,747 miles (18,906 kilometers) from the tops of Jupiter’s clouds — that’s roughly as far as the distance between New York City and Perth, Australia. The color-enhanced image, which captures a cloud system in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere, was taken on Oct. 24, 2017 at 10:24 a.m. PDT (1:24 p.m. EDT) when Juno was at a latitude of 57.57 degrees (nearly three-fifths of the way from Jupiter’s equator to its north pole) and performing its ninth close flyby of the gas giant planet.
This striking Jovian vista was created by citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft. The tumultuous Great Red Spot is fading from Juno’s view while the dynamic bands of the southern region of Jupiter come into focus. North is to the left of the image, and south is on the right.
This color-enhanced image of a massive, raging storm in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft during its ninth close flyby of the gas giant planet. The image was taken on Oct. 24, 2017 at 10:32 a.m. PDT (1:32 p.m. EDT). At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 6,281 miles (10,108 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of Jupiter at a latitude of 41.84 degrees. The spatial scale in this image is 4.2 miles/pixel (6.7 kilometers/pixel).