NASA releases stunning new high-resolution Jupiter image
JunoCam has captured the highest resolution image of a turbulent Jupiter cloudscape ever taken.
TODAY, U.S. SPACE agency, NASA shared this amazing image showing the turbulent region just west of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot in the giant planet’s South Equatorial Belt.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Sergey Dushkin
The image was taken by JunoCam – a camera aboard NASA’s Juno space probe, which was launched from Earth in August 2011 and successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit in July last year. The image has a better resolution than any previous pictures taken of this part of Jupiter from Earth or other spacecraft.
Juno captured this image from 8,700km above Jupiter’s cloudtops on 11 December 2016 at 9:14 a.m. Pacific Time.
A citizen scientist Sergey Dushkin produced the colour processing and cropped the image to draw viewers’ eyes to the dynamic clouds.
- At about 143,000km wide at its equator, Jupiter is the biggest planet in our Solar System – so large, that all of the other planets in the Solar System could fit inside it (or more than 1000 Earths).
- Jupiter lies 5.2 astronomical units from the Sun, or a little over five times the distance from Earth to the Sun.
- Jupiter’s atmosphere is made up of mostly hydrogen and helium gas, just like the Sun.
- Jupiter has four rings, mostly made up of tiny dust particles.
- Jupiter spins faster than any other planet. A day on Jupiter is about 10 hours long, while it takes 12 Earth years for Jupiter to make one rotation around the Sun.
- Jupiter has at least 67 known moons. The four largest moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, were discovered by Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei in 1610.
- Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede is the largest moon in our Solar System. It is larger than the planet Mercury and almost as big as Mars.