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Emily LakdawallaMay 11, 2018

Juno's 12th perijove in lifelike color

Because the JunoCam team depends upon the labor of volunteers to process their images for public consumption, there's been lovely diversity in the portrayal of Jupiter from Juno data. Many image processors chose to enhance and sharpen the subtle contrasts in the cloud features, but space artist Don Davis is usually after a perspective that rings true to our subjective judgment of what Jupiter ought to look like. With the help of some preprocessing by Mattias Malmer, Davis presents us how Jupiter might have looked on April 1, 2018, if we'd been aboard Juno.

Crescent Jupiter from Juno

NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Mattias Malmer / Don Davis

Crescent Jupiter from Juno
A view made during Perijove 12, showing high altitude clouds extending beyond the terminator.
Jupiter's northern turbulent region

NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Mattias Malmer / Don Davis

Jupiter's northern turbulent region
This view of Jupiter was photographed April 1 by the JUNO spacecraft as it passed over the 'Northern Turbulent Region' just after Perijove 12 closest approach. Sharpening, contrast adjustment and color balancing were done across the raw color image using Photoshop to bring out detail and color while trying to suggest a visual impression. Mattias Malmer kindly supplied the raw RGB image he assembled.

Here's a detail from that northern turbulent region. Look at the vertical relief on the clouds!

Jupiter cloud relief

NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Mattias Malmer / Don Davis

Jupiter cloud relief
A high resolution look at the clouds of Jupiter at about 10 km per pixel in the 'Northern Turbulent Region' in a region about 8800 km (5500 miles) across. This originally rather murky view was processed to bring out all the details and overall color I could. The tops of some clouds catch the light and show shaded sides, especially that huge bright upwelling at the lower right. Most of the very fine color detail should be regarded as spurious.

Now let's sweep down past the red spot in three images...

The Great Red Spot comes into view

NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Mattias Malmer / Don Davis

The Great Red Spot comes into view
On April 1, 2018 the Juno spacecraft obtained a series of views of Jupiter's varied cloud details. Here we see The Great Red Spot in the one frame all of it was visible after it appeared over the horizon during the Juno's 12th close approach to Jupiter.
Juno perijove 12 pass in natural color

NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Mattias Malmer / Don Davis

Juno perijove 12 pass in natural color
Clouds upstream of Jupiter's Great Red Spot, perijove 12

NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Mattias Malmer / Don Davis

Clouds upstream of Jupiter's Great Red Spot, perijove 12

And finally, just for fun: Davis compares Earth's clouds with Jupiter's, at the same scale.

Clouds on Earth and Jupiter

NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Mattias Malmer / Don Davis

Clouds on Earth and Jupiter
In this fanciful comparison, artist Don Davis has superimposed an Apollo 13 photo of Earth onto a Juno image of Jupiter's clouds at a similar scale, 10 km per pixel. Both show cloud details near the 'terminator' revealing shaded relief in the low sun angle. The size of even minor circular storms in the 'Northern Turbulent Region' is significant compared to Earth.

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Read more: pretty pictures, amateur image processing, Juno, Jupiter

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
Read more articles by Emily Lakdawalla

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