An image reveals the true colors of Jupiter, showing us how we could see it if we could travel to it.
Since the Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in July 2016, it has been sending back crucial data to better understand the gas giant. It has become quite an explorer of the Jovian system, which, it must be said, is very complex considering its large number of moons. But his most recent discovery is that he has managed to reveal the true colors of Jupiter. Through an image captured by Juno, the turbulent Jovian atmosphere can be seen in the same colors that a human would see if he could travel to the largest planet in the Solar System.
During its 43rd flyby, Juno came so close to Jupiter that it was able to capture the image shared by NASA. At a distance of 5,300 kilometers away from the gas giant, the space explorer powered its JunoCam camera toward the top of the planet’s clouds, while flying at a speed of 209,000 kilometers per hour.
Citizen scientist Björn Jónsson was in charge of processing the raw images taken by Juno and created two distinct images. The first image shows Jupiter’s turbulent atmosphere as a human would see it from Juno’s perspective. While in the second image, Jónsson took care to further saturate the colors, allowing the intricate Jovian composition to be admired in the foreground.
The color differences between the two images reflect the variation in chemical composition in different regions of Jupiter’s atmosphere. They also reveal the three-dimensional nature of the impetuous storms that can be seen swirling among the gas giant’s clouds. Emerging clouds in the planet’s upper atmosphere are also highly visible.
How to Do Citizen Science?
It is now possible to view the raw images taken by Juno during its 43 flybys of Jupiter. NASA shares Jovian material very constantly and even encourages citizen scientists to give a fresh perspective on the photographs taken by its various observers.
Citizen science refers to just that, a collaboration between scientific data and interested members of the public. Through these collaborations, citizen scientists have helped make thousands of important scientific discoveries, and in fact, if you are a science lover yourself, you can help NASA with various projects it has open for your participation.
Photos: NASA/JPL/Caltech/Procesamiento por Björn Jóhnsson
Story originally published in Spanish in Ecoosfera