NASA’s Juno spacecraft sends back gorgeous shots of Jupiter


(NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin Gill)

NASA’s 1 billion dollar spacecraft, Juno, completed its 10th orbit of Jupiter on December 16, during which it took a number of images that look like cosmic paintings.

The robot travels at 209,000 kmh (130,000 mph) around the planet, taking photos every 53 days or so with its JunoCam. It takes days or weeks for NASA to receive the images, but who cares when what they get is this?

(NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran)

Yep, that’s Jupiter. Full of thousands-of-miles-wide storms and swirling, textured blue clouds that one could easily mistake for marble art.

NASA researchers and the Southwest Research Institute uploaded the image data to their websites in late December. Since then, dozens of people have processed the raw black-and-white pictures and transformed them into colour-corrected images, ready for posters and calendars.

Some Juno fans have even processed animations out of the raw image data, which are so incredibly well done it looks as if they’re the raw data themselves. Take a look:

NASA launched Juno in 2011, and it took nearly five years for the probe to reach Jupiter (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran).
Planetary scientists are trying to understand the gas giant’s polar cloud formations, like these captured during Juno’s tenth perijove (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran).
A complete set of JunoCam images in a polyptych (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin Gill).

Some of the storms seen in the images are larger than Earth’s diameter. The Great Red Spot (not pictured above) is an anti-cyclone that has been raging for at least 350 years, is 1.3 times wider than Earth, and reaches speeds of up to 618 kmh (384 mph).

 

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Zaid Shahid

Zaid is BroFeed's big bro. He studies biotechnology at York University, and in his spare time writes about South Asian casteism, powerlifting, and all kinds of gadgets. He's also a major food nerd.

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