In this image of the June 16, 2018 Juno mission, clouds are flying high above Jupiter.
Photo credit: Jason Major / NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS
Watching the clouds here on Earth is entertaining, but they have some competition from these stunning clouds on another world ̵
The stunning new image comes from the NASA spacecraft Juno, which Jupiter has been studying for the past two years. Their instruments focused particularly on the spectacular stripy atmosphere of the gas giant and tried to determine its composition, temperature and structure.
Part of this research has already established that these cloud formations are up to 3,000 km long. in the planets, members of the mission team have said.
But one of Juno's instruments is to send postcards home. Called JunoCam, it chooses its photographic targets for each round based on public voting. Then all of his raw images are released for amateur processors to unfold their magic.
The result is incredible images like this one, featuring the North Tempreate Belt, one of Jupiter's most eye-catching atmospheric bands. When the picture was taken this week, Juno was only 6,200 km (6,300 miles) above the top of the planet's clouds.
The image, published by NASA on July 19th, dates from Juno's 14th skim over Jupiter's surface and the 13th such run, when scientific instruments were active. The spacecraft is to orbit Jupiter until July 2021.