Rae PaolettaJun 02, 2021

The best Jupiter pictures from NASA’s Juno mission

Jupiter is a coffee-and-cream-covered swirl of secrets. Beneath its undulating cloud bands are stories we’re only beginning to understand.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been critical to solving these mysteries. For the last five years, the probe has been capturing stunning images of the gas giant using its JunoCam. Although Juno didn’t technically need the camera to accomplish its main science objectives, the mission’s team agreed it would be important for public outreach.

With the help of some talented image processors and citizen scientists, Juno has allowed us to see our solar system’s oldest planet in a completely new way.

As Juno prepares to embark on its extended mission, here are our favorite pictures from its journey so far:

Jupiter’s south pole from Juno (multi-orbit mosaic)
Jupiter's south Pole This color-enhanced mosaic was created from several images taken over the span of three orbits around Jupiter. The striking oval-shaped features are cyclones, which can stretch about 1,000 kilometers (roughly 620 miles) in diameter.Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / Betsy Asher Hall / Gervasio Robles
Io's shadow on Jupiter during perijove 22 (closeup)
Io's shadow on Jupiter Here, the shadow of Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io can be seen looming over the gas giant. Juno snapped this image on September 12, 2019, during Juno’s 22nd close flyby of Jupiter.Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill
Clyde's Spot
Clyde's Spot This image, taken by Juno and processed by citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill, offers a glimpse into some of Jupiter's storms in its southern hemisphere. The Great Red Spot can be seen in the upper left, and a newly discovered plume of cloud material, "Clyde's Spot," is the oval that appears toward the center.Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill
Jupiter cloud relief from Juno
Dreamy Jovian clouds Jupiter’s cloud bands look particularly stunning in this processed image. JunoCam took the original picture on October 29, 2018.Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / Seán Doran
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot from Juno
Jupiter's Great Red Spot In its seventh close flyby of Jupiter, Juno got closer to the Great Red Spot than ever before. Juno captured the original version of this image on July 11, 2017.Image: NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstädt / Seán Doran
A vortex on Jupiter
A vortex on Jupiter Here, a mesmerizing cyclone can be seen in an area on Jupiter dubbed its "north north north temperate belt,” or NNNTB. The processed image was created from JunoCam data collected in November 2019 during Juno's 23rd Jovian flyby.Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill
Jupiter, Io, and Europa from Juno
Jupiter, Io, and Europa from Juno It’s a party in the Jupiter system! Here, Jupiter and two of its moons—Io and Europa—are all squeezed in for a photo opp. Juno took the original image on September 1, 2017.Image: NASA / JPL / SwRI / MSSS / Roman Tkachenko
Storms in Jupiter's Northern Hemisphere
Storms in Jupiter's Northern Hemisphere This color-enhanced image shows some of Jupiter's famous storms brewing in its northern hemisphere. The original image was taken by Juno on December 26, 2019, during the spacecraft's 24th close flyby of Jupiter.Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS
A jet stream region on Jupiter
A jet stream region on Jupiter Nestled in the planet's northern hemisphere, Jupiter's Jet N3 looks dazzling in this color-enhanced image. Juno snapped the original image on May 29, 2019, during the spacecraft's 20th close flyby of the gas giant.Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt
Half-Jupiter from Juno
Half-Jupiter from Juno Half of Jupiter is illuminated in this color-enhanced image. Juno captured the original during its fifth perijove flyby on March 27, 2017.Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / Gabriel Fiset

Last but certainly not least:

Jupiter the meme
Jupiter the meme This image, which citizen scientist Jason Major aptly nicknamed "Jovey McJupiterface," quickly became a hit on social media. Jupiter has been rotated in the picture so that a few of its storms seem to form eyes and a mouth. Juno took the original image on May 19, 2017.Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Jason Major

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