It’s been just three days since NASA’s Juno orbiter had its most recent close encounter with Jupiter, but image-processing gurus are already sharing sweet views of the giant planet’s cloud patterns.
The probe was launched in 2011 and arrived at Jupiter on the Fourth of July last year. Since then, its elliptical orbit has been taking it close to the planet’s cloud tops every 54 days — an event known as perijove. Dec. 16’s photo op is known as Perijove 10.
The probe’s primary scientific mission is to study Jupiter’s magnetic field, composition and gravity field, but it also has a camera known as JunoCam that takes closeups for public consumption. JunoCam’s raw images are served up for anyone to process, and some have gotten amazingly good at it.
Anyone can upload processed images to the Juno mission’s online gallery, which features many of the best snapshots. For Perijove 10, views of Jupiter’s mid-northern latitudes are the house specialty.
You’ll find some choice cuts on Twitter and Unmanned Spaceflight as well. While we wait for Perijove 11 in February, feast your eyes on these highlights:
— NASA's Juno Mission (@NASAJuno) December 20, 2017
In this latest vision from @NASAJuno on Dec. 16, showing a portion of #Jupiter's north temperate region, my powers of pareidolia conjure the swollen head of a Lovecraftian beast with a vast gaping maw and single hoary eye… pic.twitter.com/NH3JjKpFg5
— Jason Major (@JPMajor) December 20, 2017
— Kevin M. Gill (@kevinmgill) December 20, 2017
I'm particularly a fan of this name sequence pic.twitter.com/lbEdP2zYG5
— Gustavo (@_Gustavobc) December 19, 2017