NASA has said goodbye to its Cassini spacecraft, bringing its long-running Saturn mission to an end –but, not far from the ringed planet, the space agency is still observing another gas giant in our solar system.
A stunning new image captured by the Juno spacecraft has revealed a look at the swirling clouds over Jupiter, offering further evidence on its turbulent nature.
The spacecraft captured the breathtaking view from roughly 4,707 miles (7,576 kilometers) above the cloud tops.
According to NASA, the new photo shows a close-up look at two points of interest, known as ‘Whale’s Tail’ and ‘Dan’s Spot.’
Juno captured the image during its eighth flyby of Jupiter on September 1 at 2:58 p.m, using its JunoCam imager.
After the raw photos came in, the view was processed by citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt, revealing the stunning colors and patterns swirling about the gas giant.
The photo is just one of several captured on Sept 1, showing various points of interest in incredible detail.
A four-photo series released by NASA shows a head-on look at the planet alongside a view of Jupiter tilted upward, revealing the planet’s stormy south pole.
The first photo offers a look at the center of the planet, even showing a bit of the north and the aurorae on the north pole.
The second shows the wide dark belts that contrast with lighter-hued zones, which are arranged at different latitudes and called ‘tropical regions.’
The interactions of these conflicting cloud and circulation patterns cause turbulence, storms, and wind speeds of 100 m/s.
In the third photo, more of the cyclones that live on the planet’s south side come into view.
By the last, Jupiter’s south pole starts to show.
The spacecraft whizzed past the gas giant for a total of eight minutes between 6:03 PM and 6:11 PM EDT.
At the times the images were taken, Juno’s altitude ranged from 7,545 to 14,234 miles (12,143 to 22,908 kilometers) from the tops of the planet’s clouds.
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