Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA’s Juno mission launched in 2011 and arrived at Jupiter five years later in 2016. Since then, the solar-powered spacecraft has been orbiting Jupiter and collecting data about what is going on beneath the dense layer of clouds that cover the gas giant planet. Now, NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.

The Juno craft is in a highly elliptical orbit around Jupiter, which means that it is traveling in a oval shape around it. The advantage of this is that the craft regularly passes close to the planet, making this the first space mission to fly as close as 2,600 miles to Jupiter’s cloud tops. Every 53 days the craft makes a pass of the planet and tracks activity from the north pole to the south pole.

This video shows a gorgeous fly-around of Jupiter, compiled from the images taken by the Juno mission:

The image below shows the structure of the clouds in Jupiter’s South Equatorial Belt, and was taken at 10:28 p.m. PDT on July 15, 2018, when the spacecraft flew by the planet for the 14th time. The image was created by Kevin M. Gill from data from the JunoCam imager.

jupiter atmosphere images pia22941 1
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

This next image shows the long brown spot known as a “brown barge” which is a part of Jupiter’s North North Equatorial Belt. The image has been color-enhanced to make it easier to see, and was taken at 6:01 p.m. PDT  on September 6, 2018. The brown barge is a weather formation, consisting of a cyclonic region which forms temporarily and dissipates once the cloud bank reorganizes itself. These brown barges are sometimes hard to spot as their color blends into the atmosphere of the planet, but at some points the dark material from the belt recedes and allows the formation to be seen.

jupiter atmosphere images juno image 2
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

Finally, this image of the Jupiter cloudscape shows a large number of “pop-up” storms in white, and was taken at 1:55 p.m. PDT on October 29, 2018 during the craft’s 16th close flyby of the planet. You can see the swirling clouds of the giant storms which move across the planet, forming dramatic cyclones at the poles.

jupiter atmosphere images juno image 3
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran

To see more beautiful images of Jupiter, head to NASA’s Juno gallery.

Movies & TV

Oscar-winning FX master explains why ‘First Man’ is a giant leap for filmmaking

Paul Lambert, the Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor on First Man, reveals the innovative techniques that blended old footage with modern movie magic to make the Apollo 11 mission to the moon resonate with audiences 50 years later.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX nails its first launch and landing of 2019, but job cuts loom

SpaceX has nailed its first launch and landing of 2019 with a mission that deployed more satellites for Virginia-based Iridium Communications. But the success was soured somewhat by reports of upcoming job losses at the company.
Emerging Tech

Watch China’s moon mission touch down on the planet’s far side

Video has been shared of a lander's-eye view of China's Chang'e 4 mission touching down in the Von Kármán Crater on the far side of the moon. The craft captured footage of the descent with a camera which was attached to the probe.
Emerging Tech

Scientists debate mysterious flash of light in space, known as ‘The Cow’

On June 16, 2018 there was an unusual flash in the sky which puzzled astronomers around the world. NASA researchers have been collecting data on the event and have shared two competing theories for what could have caused it.
Emerging Tech

The enormous ‘Flying Bum’ moves toward a commercial design

A prototype of the world's largest aircraft is being retired as the company behind it prepares to build a production model. The new Airlander 10, also known as the "Flying Bum," could be ready for commercial use by 2025.
Emerging Tech

Face-scanning A.I. can help doctors spot unusual genetic disorders

Facial recognition can unlock your phone. Could it also be used to identify whether a person has a rare genetic disorder, based on their facial features? New research suggests it can.
Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Emerging Tech

Lasers and bovine breathalyzer help determine how much methane cows produce

Cow farts and belches don't sound like catastrophic threats, but they contribute to the massive amounts of methane in the atmosphere. Recently, scientists set out to establish the numbers.
Emerging Tech

Researchers discover a way to make 3D printing 100 times faster using light

Researchers at the University of Michigan have invented a new method of 3D printing which is up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D-printing processes. Here's how it works and why it could prove a game-changer for 3D printing.
Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.
Emerging Tech

Drones: New rules could soon allow flights over people and at night

With commercial operators in mind, the U.S. government is looking to loosen restrictions on drone flights with a set of proposals that would allow the machines greater freedom to fly over populated areas and also at night.
Emerging Tech

Short film celebrates New Yorker’s amazing robot costumes

New York City resident Peter Kokis creates stunning robot costumes out of household trash. His designs are huge, heavy, and extremely intricate, and never fail to turn heads when he's out and about.
Emerging Tech

In a first for humankind, China is growing plants on the moon

Having recently landed a probe on the far side of the moon, China announced that it managed to grow the first plant on the moon, too. Here's why that matters for deep space travel.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.