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NASA’s JunoCam has just taken this color-enhanced image when the Juno performed its 13th flyby of Jupiter. As indicated NASA the spacecraft was around 4,900 miles from the tops of the planet.
“The North Temperate Belt is the prominent reddish-orange band left of center. It rotates in the same direction as the planet and is predominantly cyclonic, which in the northern hemisphere means its features spin in a counter-clockwise direction. Within the belt are two gray-colored anticyclones,” says NASA.
To the left of the belt is a brighter band with high clouds, these clouds are likely made of ammonia-ice crystals, or possibly a combination of ammonia ice and water.
The large-scale dark regions are places, where there are deeper clouds, scientists believe. Juno’s IIRAM experiment and Earth-based supporting observations show warmer, and thus deeper, thermal emission from these regions.
“To the right of the bright zone, and farther north on the planet, Jupiter’s striking banded structure becomes less evident and a region of individual cyclones can be seen, interspersed with smaller, darker anticyclones,” mentions NASA.
Juno is a NASA space probe orbiting the planet Jupiter. It was built by Lockheed Martin and is operated by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 5, 2011 (UTC). After completing its mission, Juno will be intentionally deorbited into Jupiter’s atmosphere. The telescope/camera has a field of view of 58 degrees with four filters (3 for visible light). The camera is run by the JunoCam Digital Electronics Assembly (JDEA) also made by MSSS. In addition to visible light filters, it also has a near infrared filter to help detect clouds.
JunoCam (or JCM) is the visible-light camera/telescope of the Juno Jupiter orbiter. Citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill made this image using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager.
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