Nasa reveals ‘pretty as a painting’ photo of Jupiter

Juno was about 15,500 kilometres from the planet’s cloud tops when it took the picture

A Nasa image obtained on June 24, 2018 shows swirling cloud belts and tumultuous vortices within Jupiter’s northern hemisphere, when the space agency’s Juno spacecraft took this colour-enhanced image at 10.23pm PDT on May 23, 2018, as the spacecraft performed its 13th close flyby of Jupiter.   At the time, Juno was about 15,500 kilometres from the planet’s cloud tops, above a northern latitude of 56 degrees.


The region seen here is somewhat chaotic and turbulent, given the various swirling cloud formations. In general, the darker cloud material is deeper in Jupiter’s atmosphere, while bright cloud material is high.

The bright clouds are most likely ammonia or ammonia and water, mixed with a sprinkling of unknown chemical ingredients.

A bright oval at bottom center stands out in the scene. This feature appears uniformly white in ground-based telescope observations.

However, with JunoCam we can observe the fine-scale structure within this weather system, including additional structures within it.

There is not significant motion apparent in the interior of this feature; like the Great Red Spot, its winds probably slows down greatly toward the centre.

 

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