NASA spacecraft nabs best picture contender of Jupiter's swirling clouds
And the award for best picture goes to... Juno.
Jackson RyanFormer 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.
But in the far reaches of the solar system, a plucky
spacecraft is drifting along, ready to upstage them all.
In February, NASA's Jovian explorer, Juno, made its 18th close flyby of Jupiter, coming within 13,000 kilometers (approx. 8,000 miles) of its roiling clouds. The picture above was snapped by the spacecrafts JunoCam imager as Juno drifted over the northern hemisphere. The large brown spot to the left of the picture sits within the swirling air currents of a region known as Jet N6.
Citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill plucked the image from JunoCam's raw image database, color-enhancing the region of interest. The original image is below.