A new image of Jupiter released by NASA shows the giant planet looking like a van Gogh painting, with its “chaotic and turbulent” atmosphere and “various swirling cloud formations”:
The color-enhanced image was created from data gathered by NASA’s Juno spacecraft on 23 May 2018, while it was about 9,600 miles from planet’s cloud tops.
According to a post from NASA, the bright clouds featured in the image are “most likely ammonia or ammonia and water, mixed with a sprinkling of unknown chemical ingredients”:
In general, the darker cloud material is deeper in Jupiter’s atmosphere, while bright cloud material is high. The bright clouds are most likely ammonia or ammonia and water, mixed with a sprinkling of unknown chemical ingredients.
A bright oval at bottom center stands out in the scene. This feature appears uniformly white in ground-based telescope observations. However, with JunoCam we can observe the fine-scale structure within this weather system, including additional structures within it. There is not significant motion apparent in the interior of this feature; like the Great Red Spot, its winds probably slows down greatly toward the center.
This image was subject to color enhancement and other processing performed by “citizen scientists” Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran, intended to bring out as much detail as possible. The raw images from Juno can be viewed via NASA’s JunoCam web portal.