Just Look at This Achingly Beautiful View of Jupiter and a Moon Shadow

NASA's Juno spacecraft captured a stunning image of Jupiter's moon Ganymede casting a shadow on the gas giant.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
Enlarge Image

The dark shadow of Jupiter's moon Ganymede decorates the gas giant.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

I look to images of space as a respite and as reminders of the beauty of the universe. A new image of Jupiter  -- the scenic, swirly superstar of a planet -- is my moment of calm for this week.

Jupiter hosts dozens of moons, but most of them are quite small. Ganymede, the largest moon in the solar system, can cast a noticeable shadow on Jupiter. NASA's Juno spacecraft got a fantastic view late last month that highlights the planet's artistry and the presence of Ganymede.

Citizen scientist Kevin Gill, who makes a habit of delivering delightfully processed space imagesshared the Juno view this week. The shadow looks like one of those cartoon holes the Coyote leaves for the Roadrunner.     

Juno is on a mission to study Jupiter, including its atmosphere, auroras and moons. It's been in orbit since 2016 and got a mission extension in early 2021 that could allow it to keep working until late 2025 or until the end of its life, whichever comes first.

The spacecraft has sent back some striking looks at the gas giant, showing just how wild its swirling storms can be. NASA shares the raw images from Juno, but it takes some processing to make them pop. The work of image experts like Gill brings home to Earth the tumultuous charisma of a planet so different from our own.