NASA's $1 billion Jupiter probe just sent back dazzling new photos of the giant planet and its Great Red Spot

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Once every 53.5 days, NASA‘s Juno probe screams over Jupiter‘s cloud tops roughly 75 times as fast as a bullet.

The spacecraft has used these high-speed flybys, called perijoves, to document the gas giant like never before since August 2016. It records the planet with radar systems, radiation detectors, magnetic and gravitational field recorders, and more.

But NASA’s beautiful new images of Jupiter come from an optical camera called JunoCam. After each perijove, the space agency uploads the raw photo data to its websites.

Juno finished its 12th perijove on April 1. Since then, people around the world have downloaded JunoCam’s raw black-and-white data, processed it into stunning color pictures, and shared the files for all to see.

“Jupiter is in constant flux so it’s always a surprise to see what is going on in those cloudscapes,” Seán Doran, a graphic artist and a prolific processor of JunoCam images, told Business Insider in an email. He added that it can take hours to complete a single image.

Here are some of the most dazzling portraits of Jupiter — and its shrinking Great Red Spot super-storm — that Doran and others have created in the past week.

SEE ALSO: Scientists are floored by NASA’s new photos of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot — here’s what they see in the images

DON’T MISS: Jupiter’s Great Red Spot may have only 10 to 20 years left before it disappears

Juno makes a highly elliptical orbit over Jupiter’s poles. It’s a compromise between getting unprecedented new data and staying out of the planet’s intense radiation fields.

 

During each perijove, which lasts a few hours, the JunoCam instrument uses a “push-broom” technique to snap a series of photos of the planet…

… Creating a zoom-in, zoom-out effect when looked at in sequence (from the world’s north pole to its south pole).

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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