Tech UPTechnologyThis is what Jupiter looks like in its true...

This is what Jupiter looks like in its true colors

How would the human eye see the gas giant Jupiter up close? Citizen scientist Björn Jónsson retrieved and processed the raw data collected by Juno on July 5, 2022 during its 43rd close flyby of Jupiter using his JunoCam instrument to create two images. (They were captured at a distance of 5,300 kilometers from Jupiter’s cloud tops.)

Juno has been exploring Jupiter since 2016 after a journey that began in 2011, when it was launched. It circles the planet in a highly elliptical orbit, making a complete revolution every 43 days, dipping about 5,000 km, at some points, above the clouds of the gas giant.

true colors

The image on the left shows the view of how the planet would be perceived by a human observer in Juno’s position. In the image to the right, Jónsson digitally enhanced the color saturation and contrast, allowing the intricate structure of the planet’s atmosphere to come to the fore.

The image shows Jupiter in the same colors that a human observer would see.

Color differences in the enhanced image reflect variations in the chemical composition of different parts of the Jovian atmosphere and also show us the powerful storms swirling in the planet’s clouds.

The Juno space probe will continue to work for science until at least 2025. And, like the British amateur astronomer Björn Jónsson, anyone can explore, process and help classify the images it captures.

All of them are available on the JunoCam website through the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

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