THE CLOUDS ON JUPITER LOOK FAKEDate: 2018-05-17
It is strange to think that there is a whole different planet out there, waiting to be invaded by aliens or humans.
But that's beside the point.
During a recent trip to Jupiter, NASA space probe, Juno, snapped photos of swirling clouds above the gas giant's south pole. And the results are... stunning!
Scientists, Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran, compiled the images – taken 15,379 miles above the cloud tops – into a psychedelic animation. Eichstädt reprojected two JunoCam images to the same vantage point, showing the subtle motions within the atmosphere.
"This animation represents a ‘feasibility test,'" Eichstädt said in a statement. "Building on this initial work, we can add more variables that will give us a more detailed description and physical understanding of Jupiter’s atmosphere."
Together with Doran, the amateur scientists also created a composite image of Jupiter, the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the Solar System.
"It’s something of a labour of love that requires plenty of patience," Doran said of the project. "Energetic particles impact the CCD [charge-coupled device] and produce bright specks. Once I’d finished the processing, I needed to go through and repair a couple hundred of these bright pixels."
"Two years into the mission, we’ve seen some tremendous new science emerging from this collaboration, and breathtaking imagery of Jupiter’s complex atmosphere that would not have been possible without the talented army of citizen scientists who have been working alongside the JunoCam team every step of the way," Orton said.
The animation looks like something Google's DeepMind AI lab would generate, and the data collected by the probe's Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) tool can help scientists better understand the central cyclone and its eight surrounding windstorms.