Jupiter, the "king" of the planets of our solar system, is a hostile place that you definitely would not want to visit. The gas giant is a swirling mass of storms that extend hundreds of kilometers deep, and the largest storms on the planet, such as the Great Red Spot, are large enough to swallow the Earth several times.
Despite its volatile nature and the fact that no one really knows what's at the bottom of the planet, Jupiter is still one of NASA's favorite photography targets because it's very beautiful. Now, NASA is exhibiting a new and improved image taken by the Juno spacecraft, and is a pure eye drop.
The image may look like a single photo but, as NASA explains in a new blog post, it is actually the result of three separate snapshots captured by Juno:
Juno picked up the three images used to produce this enhanced color vision on February 12, 2019, between 9:59 am PST (12:59 pm EST) and 10:39 am PST (1:39 pm EST), as the spacecraft held its 17th Scientific Jupiter Pass. At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was between 16,700 miles (26,900 kilometers) and 59,300 miles (95,400 kilometers) above the tops of Jupiter's clouds, above the southern latitude of about 40 to 74 degrees.
NASA uploads all of Juno's JunoCam images to a web portal where citizen scientists can apply enhancements that bring additional detail. In that case, a citizen scientist named Kevin M. Gill took some time to improve things and the end result is the beautiful view you see above (full resolution here).
Juno proved to be invaluable to NASA during its seven years in orbit of Jupiter. The spacecraft has taught scientists about the planet's intense currents and storms, and has revealed that some of the planet's most iconic features, such as the Great Red Spot, are gradually dying.
The initial timeline of Juno's mission lasted seven years, but as the spacecraft was still performing well, NASA extended it by mid-2021.