Colorful swirling clouds in Jupiter’s North Equatorial Belt practically fill this image from NASA’s Juno spacecraft. This is the closest image captured of the Jovian clouds during this recent flyby of the gas giant planet.
The color-enhanced image was taken at 2:08 p.m. PDT (5:08 p.m. EDT) on Oct. 29, 2018 as the spacecraft performed its 16th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time, Juno was about 2,100 miles (3,400 kilometers) from the planet’s cloud tops, at approximately 14 degrees north latitude. In other words, the spacecraft was about as close to Jupiter as San Francisco is to Chicago, which is quite close when racing over a planet that’s 11 times wider than Earth.
Citizen scientist Björn Jónsson created this image using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager.
JunoCam’s raw images are available for the public to peruse and to process into image products at: http://missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam.
Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Björn Jónsson