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NASA’s Latest Swirling Photo Of Jupiter Mirrors Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ Art
By Yoon Sann Wong, 25 Jun 2018
NASA’s ‘Juno’ spacecraft, which is scheduled to collect scientific data over a three-year period until July 2021, has captured a mesmerizing image of the planet that brings to mind the famous 1889 The Starry Night painting by Vincent van Gogh.
Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran produced the color-enhanced photo, shown below. It was taken on 23 May at 10.23 pm PDT, while the explorer was roughly 9,600 miles (15,500 kilometers) from Jupiter’s cloud tops, during its 13th close flyby of the planet.
NASA explains, “This image captures swirling cloud belts and tumultuous vortices within Jupiter’s northern hemisphere.”
“The region seen here is somewhat chaotic and turbulent, given the various swirling cloud formations. In general, the darker cloud material is deeper in Jupiter’s atmosphere, while bright cloud material is high. The bright clouds are most likely ammonia or ammonia and water, mixed with a sprinkling of unknown chemical ingredients.”
“A bright oval at bottom center stands out in the scene. This feature appears uniformly white in ground-based telescope observations. However, with JunoCam we can observe the fine-scale structure within this weather system, including additional structures within it. There is not significant motion apparent in the interior of this feature; like the Great Red Spot, its winds probably slows down greatly toward the center.”
You can learn more about ‘Juno’ on NASA’s dedicated website, and peruse raw images from the ‘JunoCam’ online. Follow @NASAJuno on Twitter for the latest updates on this exploration project.
Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt /Seán Doran
Image via Wikipedia
[via CNET and NASA, main image via Shutterstock]
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