Jupiter’s Chaotic Clouds Look Like Gorgeous Marbled Paper

See Jupiter's swirling clouds captured in this surreal, stunning photo.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt /Seán Doran

While NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured raw images of clouds of Jupiter, citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran enhanced it to look like a stunning artwork. In this photo, the clouds of Jupiter appear to be a beautiful, marbled swirl of colors and textures. According to , Juno took the photo on its 13th close flyby of Jupiter, 9,600 miles from the planet’s cloud tops, above a northern latitude of 56 degrees.

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The swirling formations capture a “somewhat chaotic and turbulent” region. Brighter clouds are up higher, while darker clouds exist deeper in the planet’s atmosphere. The bright clouds are likely comprised of ammonia or ammonia and water. The oval at the bottom center of the image appears “uniformly white” from ground-based telescopes, but JunoCam showcases its more complex structures. The spot is likely a still feature, where winds slow down. NASA posts data from JunoCam on its , encouraging anyone to download, process or share images.

Juno launched in August 2011, and arrived in orbit almost five years later, on July 4th, 2016. The spacecraft’s mission is to study and record the planet’s gravity and magnetic fields, its atmospheric dynamics and compositions to understand its formation and evolution. Juno has been successful in its mission, so much so that its orbit will continue until July 2021. “With every additional orbit, both scientists and citizen scientists will help unveil new surprises about this distant world,” said , associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Perhaps, it will keep unveiling opportunities for gorgeous space artworks, too.

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