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JUNOCAM

Jupiter, colorful and swirling clouds bands

New image by Juno spacecraft captures the clouds and vortices in Jupiter’s North North Temperate Belt region

This image takes by  Juno spacecraft captures a high-altitude cloud formation surrounded by swirling patterns in the atmosphere of Jupiter's North North Temperate Belt region.

 

The North North Temperate Belt is one of Jupiter’s many colorful, swirling cloud bands. Scientists have wondered for decades how deep these bands extend. Gravity measurements collected by Juno during its close flybys of the planet have now provided an answer. Juno discovered that these bands of flowing atmosphere actually penetrate deep into the planet, to a depth of about 3,000 kilometers.

 

NASA’s Juno spacecraft took this color-enhanced image at 7:11 a.m.  on July 16, as the spacecraft performed its 14th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time, Juno was about 6,200 kilometers from the planet's cloud tops, above a latitude of 36 degrees. Citizen scientist Jason Major created this image using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager.

 

JUNO's goal is to analyse the Jupiter’s characteristics as representative of the giant planets. The Solar System’s ‘heavyweight’ can, in fact, offer fundamentally important data not only for gaining deeper knowledge of the origin of the System itself, but also for analysing those of the planetary systems that are gradually discovered around other stars, with particular reference to those exoplanets that have a similar mass to that of Jupiter. JUNO's heart is the Italian JIRAM (Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper), financed by ASI, built by Leonardo-Finmeccanica and operated under the scientific responsibility of INAF's Institute of Astrophysics and Planetology (IAPS).  JUNO's other Italian component is KaT (Ka-Band Translator), a radio science instrument designed by the 'La Sapienza' University of Rome, built by Thales Alenia Space Italia (A Thales/Leonardo-Finmeccanica company) again with ASI's support.