Jupiter as seen from a uniquely beautiful perspective

By Tom Yulsman | May 22, 2018 10:02 am

Citizen scientists used raw images from the Juno spacecraft to produce this southerly view of Jupiter

Southerly perspective on Jupiter

Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstad/Sean Doran

This marvelous view of Jupiter shows the planet from a different perspective than we’re used to: from the south.

It was acquired by NASA’s Juno spacecraft during a close flyby of the giant gaseous planet on April 1. During the encounter, Juno swooped as close as 10,768 miles above the cloud tops of the southern hemisphere.

As NASA notes in a release, this color-enhanced view is unique to Juno — we were not able to see the giant planet from this perspective prior to the spacecraft’s arrival at Jupiter in July of 2016.

With this perspective, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot looms particularly large, perhaps misleadingly so. More than 1,300 Earths would fit inside Jupiter itself. As for the red spot, it is about 1.3 times as wide as Earth.

NASA scientists actually did not create this image. Credit goes to citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran. They started with several separate images from the spacecraft’s JunoCam, then they re-projected, blended, and healed them to produce this striking view.

You too can try your hand at this: JunoCam’s raw images are freely available to the public at www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam.

  • TLongmire

    I viewed the image upside down and my sense of smell and vision blurred to one.



ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.


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