Intricate swirls in Jupiter’s volatile northern hemisphere are captured in this color-enhanced image from NASA’s Juno spacecraft. Bursts of bright-white “pop-up” clouds appear scattered throughout the scene, with some visibly casting shadows on the neighboring cloud layers beneath them. Juno scientists are using shadows to determine the distances between cloud layers in Jupiter’s atmosphere, which provide clues to their composition and origin.
This image was taken at 10:27 p.m. PDT on May 23, 2018 (1:27 a.m. EDT on May 24) as the spacecraft performed its 13th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time, Juno was about 7,050 miles (11,350 kilometers) from the planet’s cloud tops, above a northern latitude of approximately 49 degrees.
Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran created this image using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager.
JunoCam’s raw images are available for the public to peruse and process into image products at https://missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam.
More information about Juno is at https://www.nasa.gov/juno and https://missionjuno.swri.edu.
Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstäd/Seán Doran.