Hey, want a cup of coffee? I don’t actually have one to give you, but it’s a nice intro to talk about NASA’s latest photo of gas giant and ruler of our Solar System, Jupiter. Juno, the trusty probe that is currently cruising around Jupiter and helping scientists study the planet, delivered a pretty stunning new image recently, and boy does it look tasty.
The image, which was captured on October 29th, shows Jupiter’s towering cloud tops in high detail. Those swirling storms stretch deep into the planet, but up top they look like a delicious latte with cream and caramel. And don’t argue with me about that.
“A multitude of magnificent, swirling clouds in Jupiter’s dynamic North North Temperate Belt is captured in this image from NASA’s Juno spacecraft,” NASA says in a post. “Appearing in the scene are several bright-white “pop-up” clouds as well as an anticyclonic storm, known as a white oval.”
The photo that Juno delivered didn’t look exactly like the one you see here. Images that are fed to NASA’s JunoCam website often go through additional processing and enhancements by citizen scientists, helping to bring out the contrast of the various features.
Recent research into Jupiter’s workings have revealed that the planet’s massive storms stretch even deeper into the planet than anyone previously thought. Scientists have always known that the storms dwarfed anything on Earth in terms of vertical size but the discovery that the storms actually span 200 miles from the upper atmosphere towards the inside of the planet is seriously mind blowing.
Juno is currently past its original planned mission duration. It was expected to last seven years, but is now over three months past that milestone. With the spacecraft still working just fine, NASA has decided to extend its mission until at least mid-2021, so expect plenty more awesome images of the colossal planet in the coming months and years.