5 Years of Stunning Jupiter Photos From NASA’s Juno Mission

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The spacecraft launched more than 10 years ago, on August 5, 2011. As it sped towards Jupiter, it snapped a goodbye photo of Earth, proving that its cameras were ready for space.

earth black and white

The Juno spacecraft’s JunoCam caught this image of Earth as it sped past on October 9, 2011, to get a gravitational boost towards Jupiter.


NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems



Juno beams the raw data to Earth as black-and-white photo layers that represent red, blue, and green.

jupiter hemisphere black and white with string of pearl storms

A raw image of Jupiter in blue, green, and red, captured August 6, 2021.


NASA/SwRI/MSSS



Then citizen scientists merge the layers and process them to make colorful portraits. They enhance the colors to highlight different bands of Jupiter’s atmosphere, storms, and clouds.

jupiter bands of purple orange clouds with gray anticyclones

Jupiter’s reddish-orange North North Temperate Belt, with two gray-colored anticyclones, May 23, 2018.


NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill (CC-BY)



Juno’s orbit takes it far from Jupiter, then swings it back towards the planet for close flybys. In those flybys, the probe has flown by Jupiter’s north pole, where eight storms rage around a giant, Earth-sized cyclone at the center.

jupiter north pole large dark spot encircled by eight red cyclones

A composite infrared image from the Juno spacecraft shows cyclones at Jupiter’s north pole, February 2, 2017.


NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/ASI/INAF/JIRAM



Citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt compiled Juno’s imagery into a time-lapse video of its June flyby, which took the spacecraft past Jupiter and Ganymede.

The video lasts three minutes and 30 seconds, but in reality, it took Juno nearly 15 hours to travel the 735,000 miles between Ganymede and Jupiter, then about three additional hours to travel between Jupiter’s poles.



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