The colour-enhanced photographs taken thousands of miles from Jupiter’s surface, expand NASA’s understanding of the gas giant.
The latest photograph in the Juno series, titled Jupiter Blues, is a watercolour-like depiction of a swirling cloud system on the planet’s northern hemisphere.
It was taken during Juno’s ninth fly-by of the planet on October 24, at an incredible distance of 11,747 miles (18,906 km) from the top of its clouds.
The raw image from the JunoCam was processed by ‘citizen scientists’ Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran who brought out the picture’s magical qualities.
NASA said: “Our Juno mission has been exploring Jupiter since July 2016 with a special passenger on board: JunoCam, an instrument designed to take spectacular close-up colour images of the largest planet in our solar system.
“From the raw images, citizen scientists have processed a range of beautiful photographs that highlight Jupiter’s features, even turning them into works of art.”
The Juno spacecraft was launched on its solitary 365 million mile (588 million km) voyage across space in 2011.
It finally arrived at Jupiter in 2016 in an attempt to study the solar system’s largest planet.
Jupiter Blues: The latest picture from NASA shows incredible swirls in Jupiter’s atmosphere
Jupiter: The gas giant is being studied by Nasa’s Juno space probe
NASA said: “From a unique polar orbit, Juno will repeatedly dive between the planet and its intense belts of charged particle radiation, coming only about 3,000 miles (5,000 km) from the cloud tops at closest approach.
Our Juno mission has been exploring Jupiter since July 2016 with a special passenger on board: JunoCam
“Juno’s primary goal is to improve our understanding of Jupiter’s formation and evolution.
“The spacecraft will investigate the planet’s origins, interior structure, deep atmosphere and magnetosphere.”
The American space agency is certain that Juno’s voyage is the key to understanding how planetary systems develop.
Jupiter is a monstrous gas planet, mostly comprised of a hydrogen and helium based atmosphere. But deep down below the swirling clouds hides a liquid ocean of hydrogen surrounding the core.
In order to pierce through the planet’s dense atmosphere, Juno was equipped with sophisticated with magnetometers which allowed NASA’s space boffins to map Jupiter’s magnetic field.
During its orbit of Jupiter, Juno reputedly dips in and out of belt of extreme radiation surrounding the giant.
Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio said that the radiation is the “main life-limiting factor for Juno.” But for now, the spacecraft shows no signs of slowing down.
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Jupiter’s atmosphere is made up of hydrogen and helium but below it is a liquid ocean of hydrogen
Every single image taken by Juno is shared online by NASA in order to be processed. Processing the images is key to extracting every bit of detail and colour possible.
NASA said: “We invite you to download them, do your own image processing, and we encourage you to upload your creations for us to enjoy and share.
“The types of image processing we’d love to see range from simply cropping an image to highlighting a particular atmospheric feature, as well as adding your own colour enhancements, creating collages and adding advanced colour reconstruction.”