Cyclones at the north pole of Jupiter appear as swirls of striking colors in this extreme false color rendering of an image from NASA’s Juno mission. The huge, persistent cyclone found at Jupiter’s north pole is visible at the center of the image, encircled by smaller cyclones that range in size from 2,500 to 2,900 miles (4,000 to 4,600 kilometers). Together, this pattern of storms covers an area that would dwarf the Earth.
The color choices in this image reveal both the beauty of Jupiter and the subtle details present in Jupiter’s dynamic cloud structure. Each new observation that Juno provides of Jupiter’s atmosphere complements computer simulations and helps further refine our understanding of how the storms evolve over time.
The Juno mission provided the first clear views of Jupiter’s polar regions. Juno’s Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument has also mapped this area, as well as a similar pattern of storms at the planet’s south pole.
Citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt made this composite image using data obtained by the JunoCam instrument during four of the Juno spacecraft’s close passes by Jupiter, which took place between Feb. 17, 2020, and July 25, 2020. The greatly exaggerated color is partially a result of combining many individual images to create this view.
JunoCam’s raw images are available for the public to peruse and process into image products at https://missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam/processing.
Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS
Image processing by Gerald Eichstädt