Backyard Observatory

Gorgeous Image From NASA Probe Shows Deep Jet Streams in Jupiter's Atmosphere

Looking good, Jupiter.

Jupiter image juno
Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS, Image processing by Tanya Oleksuik

Photos from the Perseverance rover, which landed on Mars last week, are getting all the attention. However, there are still plenty of other rovers and spacecraft working beyond the boundary of Earth's atmosphere. Juno is coming up on the fifth anniversary of its arrival at Jupiter, and it's still sending back stunning images. (You know, in addition to all the science it's facilitating.)

NASA recently shared another image of Jupiter, beautifully displaying the planet's jet streams. This one was color enhanced by citizen scientist Tanya Oleksuik using data from the JunoCam camera. The spacecraft originally took the image on December 30 during its 31st close flyby. 

Data from the probe has allowed scientists to discover that these massive jet streams extend deeper into the planet than previously known. "Evidence from Juno shows the jet streams and belts penetrate about 1,800 miles (3,000 kilometers) down into the planet," NASA said in the announcement.

Jupiter looks gorgeous in the new image, with just a glimpse of the Great Red Spot visible near the top. It makes the turbulent planet look like a delicately crafted marble. 

Ready to go stargazing?

Here are all the best stargazing events that you can get out and see this month or you could stay in a stream the northern lights from home. If you're just getting started, check out our guide to astronomy for beginners, the best meteor showers of 2021, or easy stargazing road trips from big US cities

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin Nelson on Twitter.
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