NASA Juno spacecraft offers another incredible image of Jupiter

The Jovian spacecraft and a clever citizen scientist produce another jaw-dropping image of the gas giant.

Jackson Ryan Former Science Editor
Jackson Ryan was CNET's science editor, and a multiple award-winning one at that. Earlier, he'd been a scientist, but he realized he wasn't very happy sitting at a lab bench all day. Science writing, he realized, was the best job in the world -- it let him tell stories about space, the planet, climate change and the people working at the frontiers of human knowledge. He also owns a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters.
Jackson Ryan
NASA Colorized Jupiter Image (Southern Hemisphere)
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NASA Colorized Jupiter Image (Southern Hemisphere)
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

Juno, you spoil us.

It was only last week NASA released a stunning Van Gogh-like image of Jupiter's tumultuous atmosphere taking by the Jovian orbiter's JunoCam and colorized by citizen scientists. And now we have this...

Yes, Juno, which last month had its mission extended to 2022, has again produced the goods with an image detailing Jupiter's southern hemisphere from approximately 44,300 miles away, NASA reports.

The jawbreaker-like hemisphere is jaw-dropping, backed by the obsidian darkness of space. It's hard to grasp just how big the planet is as it fades to black, but citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill's colour-enhanced image makes it feel like you could swipe it up in the palm of your hand.

You couldn't.

You shouldn't try to do that. Jupiter is so big that 1,300 Earths can fit inside it.

Juno's the first spacecraft that we've sent to Jupiter that isn't just flying along its equator -- it orbits the poles, allowing scientists to study the "atmospheric dynamics" and giving us an unprecedented look at the solar system's biggest celestial body. 

Juno, travel well, and keep beaming these images back to us evermore.