NEWS DESK: Nasa has released awe-inspiring new images of Jupiter sent back by its Juno probe, reported The Independent.
A mass of clouds swirling in a huge storm over the planet’s southern hemisphere can be seen in intricate detail in one picture taken by the spacecraft.
The colour-enhanced image was captured on 24 October during Juno’s ninth close flyby of the gas giant, said Nasa.
The spacecraft was 20,577 miles (33,115km) from the tops of the clouds in the ‘String of Pearls’ – one of the planet’s eight massive storms – when the image was taken.
The picture was processed by citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran using data from Juno’s camera, the agency said.
It is part of a trove of new pictures released by Nasa this week.
The agency releases raw data captured by the probe to the public, allowing scientists, artists and photographers to create stunning images of the planet.
The images require processing because Nasa and its ship take pictures with red, green, blue and infrared filters which then need combining.
That means that they can be altered and changed as they are pulled into full colour, allowing for different colours and textures.
Juno successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit in July 2016, five years it launched from Earth.
The spacecraft completed a high-risk manoeuvre to slow down as it approached the planet, firing a rocket based on calculations which, if only slightly wrong, would have seen the £890m probe drift blast into oblivion.
As well as capturing images, Juno is also equipped with sensors to explore the Jupiter’s magnetic field and atmosphere.
Story first published: 13th November 2017