Backyard Observatory

NASA Just Shared a Stunning New Image of Jupiter

Juno has returned another photo that looks like a painting.

NASA Jupiter
NASA/JPL/SwRI/MSSS; image processing by Gerald Eichstädt

The Juno mission to Jupiter has produced images that may become the most iconic shots of our solar system's largest planet, in addition to incredibly valuable science. Some of the most memorable photos so far have shown us the gas giant's swirling, inky atmosphere. It's hard not to compare what's come back to a painting because of the surreally gorgeous patterns flowing through the planet's atmosphere. 

This new image shared by NASA comes from the spacecraft's close approach to Jupiter back on February 17 of this year. The image, processed by citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt, shows mysterious bands that run through the center of the image. They've been spotted as far back as 2016, but scientists aren't exactly sure what the streaks are. NASA says the streaks are "layers of haze particles that float above the underlying cloud features." There's been speculation that they're influenced by jetstreams that exist on either side of the bands. 

NASA jupiter image Juno
NASA/JPL/SwRI/MSSS; image processing by Gerald Eichstädt

Juno was about 15,610 miles above the planet's atmosphere when it took this photo on its 25th close flyby.

The spacecraft will continue taking photos, among other things, once every 53 days until July 2021, at the earliest. 

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.