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Breathtaking New NASA Images Show Jupiter's Otherworldy Storms



NASA's Juno spacecraft, which is currently orbiting Jupiter, snapped a dramatic image of the gas giant this month.

With some artistic help from a human helper on Earth, the spacecraft's image has turned out to be a visual masterpiece.

The color-enhanced image of Kevin M. Gill, a NASA software engineer who moonlights as one of the Juno's many amateur image processors, shows a large circular storm trailed by clouds swirling in a jet stream in Jupiter's northern hemisphere.

Juno has been in a very elliptical orbit around Jupiter since 201

6. The spacecraft captured this image on Feb. 12, during its 18th close pass of the planet, according to NASA. At the time, Juno was just 8,000 miles from Jupiter's cloud tops.

 An image captured by Juno during its 18th close pass of Jupiter. Gill color-enhanced this image and rotated it approximately



An image captured by Juno during its 18th close pass of Jupiter. Gill color-enhanced this image and rotated it about 100 degrees to the right, according to NASA.

Launched in 2011, Juno spent five years traveling to Jupiter from Earth. The mission seeks to map Jupiter's interior and figure out how much water is inside the planet, among other goals. Scientists hope that by studying Jupiter, they will have a better understanding of how planets are formed.

NASA has made raw images available from Juno to the public online. The agency has been encouraging amateur astrophotographers to download and enhance their images before uploading them back to Juno's website. Dozens of space enthusiasts have participated – some by simply cropping the images and others by performing advanced color reparations or highlighting a particular atmospheric feature of the planet.

The enhanced images have been used in NASA reports for scientific journals, according to the agency.

NASA plans to end Juno's mission in July 2021, at which point the spacecraft will self-destruct by hurling itself into Jupiter.

See some more of Gill's color-enhanced images from Juno's 18th close pass of Jupiter below.










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