Stunning images of Jupiter from NASA Juno mission

This enhanced-color image of a mysterious dark spot on Jupiter seems to reveal a Jovian “galaxy” of swirling storms

NASA's Juno spacecraft whizzed closely by Jupiter today (March 27) in its fifth flyby of the gas giant.

Someone even merged all the images from the fifth flyby into a 3D animation, which shows the trip from Juno's viewpoint.

Juno has passed inside Jupiter's radiation belts six times, including the spacecraft's arrival maneuver July 4, when the probe fired its main engine to enter orbit.

ABOVE IMAGE: Juno acquired this JunoCam image on February 2, 2017 at an altitude of 9,000 miles (14,500 kilometers) above the giant planet's cloud tops.

The Juno mission is created to study Jupiter's intense magnetic field and investigate the gas giant's deep interior structure, revealing insights about its atmosphere and probing for a rocky core.

Part of Jupiter's 'string of pearls.' Juno captured this image with its JunoCam instrument on March 27, 2017. The JunoCam atop the NASA Juno spacecraft has meanwhile, clicked close-up pictures of the planet. But a newly released, enhanced-colour image of a large dark spot might be the most ethereal of all - its swirling, colourful clouds make it seem like a Jovian Van Gogh.


NASA's Juno spacecraft sailed over Jupiter's cloud tops early Monday, the fourth time the solar-powered probe has approached the giant planet and collected science data since its arrival last July 4. Since then, it has made a number of discoveries regarding the planet's composition, atmosphere as well as its superb auroras and magnetic fields.

As such, Juno will continue on its current track up until the mission's end.

While NASA had initially planned to send Juno into a closer orbit of just 14 days, those plans had to be scrapped in February due to problems with two of its helium valves. Following its 20 months in orbit, Juno will crash land on the planet whilst also offering a never before look at its atmosphere.

Such a perspective will allow Juno's science team to study the complex network of magnetic field lines around Jupiter, and help sort out the drivers behind Jupiter's auroras, separating auroras induced by internal convection and the solar wind.

One such instance occurred recently when Juno captured an unbelievable image of Jupiter and within that image a citizen scientist named Roman Tkachenko spotted a "Dark Spot" on Jupiter after he enhanced the images using his skills.

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