Juno Captures Breathtaking Image of Jupiter’s Swirling Cloud Formations

Juno Captures Breathtaking Image of Jupiter's Swirling Cloud Formations

Juno Spacecraft captures the breathtaking image of swirling cloud formations around the south pole of Jupiter. Credit: Gerald Eichstadt/NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

This image captures the swirling cloud formations around the south pole of Jupiter, looking up toward the equatorial region.

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft took the color-enhanced image during its eleventh close flyby of the gas giant planet on February 7 at 7:11 a.m. PST (10:11 a.m. EST). At the time, the spacecraft was 74,896 miles (120,533 kilometers) from the tops of Jupiter’s clouds at 84.9 degrees south latitude.

Citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt processed this image using data from the JunoCam imager. This image was created by reprocessing raw JunoCam data using trajectory and pointing data from the spacecraft. This image is one in a series of images taken in an experiment to capture the best results for illuminated parts of Jupiter’s polar region.

To make features more visible in Jupiter’s terminator — the region where day meets night — the Juno team adjusted JunoCam so that it would perform like a portrait photographer taking multiple photos at different exposures, hoping to capture one image with the intended light balance. For JunoCam to collect enough light to reveal features in Jupiter’s dark twilight zone, the much brighter illuminated day-side of Jupiter becomes overexposed with the higher exposure.

JunoCam’s raw images are available for the public to peruse and process into image products at: www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam

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