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NASA sees a crazy, angry storm swirl across Jupiter

Jupiter's stormy atmosphere does its best impression of a hellscape in an eye-popping Juno spacecraft image.

This isn't a hellmouth. It's a Jovian storm.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran

Jupiter isn't the place to go for clear skies and smooth sailing. NASA's Juno spacecraft got an eyeful of an impressive storm in the planet's northern hemisphere and it looks like something out of a sci-fi horror movie. 

Juno snapped the original image during a flyby Oct. 24, from a distance of just 6,281 miles (10,108 kilometers) from the cloud tops. Citizen-scientists Gerald Eichstadt and Sean Doran processed the image to help the fascinating storm stand out. 

NASA notes the darker clouds are deeper in the atmosphere than the brighter-colored ones. The space agency says these bright clouds "are expected to be updrafts of ammonia ice crystals possibly mixed with water ice." Which sounds really inviting. The more you stare at the storm, the more it looks like an invitation to descend into madness. 

Juno launched in 2011 and reached orbit around Jupiter in mid-2016 where it's now performing a series of flybys of the gas giant. The spacecraft is studying Jupiter's atmosphere so scientists can learn more about its formation and evolution.