NASA’s Juno spacecraft has captured a stunning new image of storms in Jupiter’s North Temperate Belt that features white ‘pop-up’ clouds and an impressionistic scene of ‘oil painting’ tempests on the planet.
As the Daily Mail reported, NASA recently comment on the image, saying “Appearing in the scene are several bright-white ‘pop-up’ clouds as well as an anticyclonic storm, known as a white oval. A multitude of magnificent, swirling clouds in Jupiter’s dynamic North Temperate Belt are captured.”
The new Jupiter photograph was captured by the Juno spacecraft at 1:58 p.m. PDT on October 29 while the probe was busy with its 16th flyby of the planet while at a distance of 4,400 miles away from the enormous billowing clouds that were captured so well in the image. The image has been said to vividly demonstrate just how strong the vortices and jets are in the area of Jupiter’s North Temperate Belt, with clouds formed from either ammonia ice and water or ammonia and ice crystals.
It is thanks to citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran that we have this beautiful picture of Jupiter as the pair were able to construct the new image out of data that was collected by the JunoCam imager on the NASA spacecraft. When NASA posted a photograph of the new image of Jupiter on Twitter, they suggested that it was reminiscent of a dragon’s eye and invited viewers to participate and give their thoughts on what the clouds and storm represented to them.
Seán Doran believed that what he was witnessing were dolphins frolicking together deep in the clouds of Jupiter’s immense sky.
Another recent image of a similar storm on Jupiter was captured on September 6 which revealed what has been called a “rear view mirror” picture of the planet’s southern hemisphere. This particular image was created this time around by citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt.
When the September image was taken, the Juno probe was this time at a distance of approximately 55,600 miles away from the swirling clouds, as NASA noted.
‘The color-enhanced image was taken at 7:13 p.m. PDT on Sept. 6, 2018 (10:13 p.m. EDT) as the spacecraft performed its 15th close flyby of Jupiter.”
The two new images in September and October have fascinated astronomers as other Juno flybys of Jupiter have mainly focused on storms that were raging in the northern hemisphere of the planet.
It is fortunate that NASA will be keeping the science operations of their Juno spacecraft running now until July 2021 so that we can continue to see fresh new images of the clouds and storms that pervade the skies of Jupiter.