NASA’s Juno spacecraft catches massive Jupiter storms colliding
PASADENA, Calif. (NASA) — This image showing Jupiter’s atmosphere from NASA’s Juno spacecraft includes something remarkable: two storms caught in the act of merging.
The two white ovals seen within the orange-colored band left of center are anticyclonic storms — that is, storms that rotate counter-clockwise. The larger of the two ovals has been tracked for many years, as it grew in size through mergers with other anticyclonic white ovals. NASA’s JunoCam was fortunate to capture this new merger, which typically takes place over the course of only a few days.
Citizen scientist Tanya Oleksuik created this color-enhanced image using data from the JunoCam camera. The original image was taken on Dec. 26, 2019, at 10:28 a.m. PST (1:28 p.m. EST) as the Juno spacecraft performed its 24th close flyby of the planet. At the time, the spacecraft was about 44,900 miles (72,200 kilometers) from the tops of Jupiter’s clouds, at a latitude of about 60 degrees South.
JunoCam’s raw images are available for the public to peruse and process into image products at https://missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam/processing.