NASA has released a rather glorious new image of Jupiter taken by its Juno spacecraft, showing bands of clouds on the gas giant.
The image was taken on December 16, 2017, as the spacecraft was performing its 10th close flyby of Jupiter. Juno is in a wide sweeping orbit, swinging down to gather images and data every 53 days. It took this image from a distance of 13,604 kilometers (8,453 miles) above Jupiter.
In this image, which has had its colors enhanced by citizen scientist Kevin Gill, the definition between the bands on Jupiter is very apparent. The dark region towards the left is the South Temperate Belt, while ghost-like slithering clouds can be seen intersecting the belt – the result of a cyclone.
We’ve seen plenty of amazing images from Juno before, but this image does a particularly good job of highlighting features on Jupiter.
Juno will make its next close pass in February 2018. The spacecraft has been in orbit around Jupiter since July 2016, during which time we've been treated to a host of images like this. The spacecraft has also revealed just how weird and wonderful Jupiter really is, with plenty more discoveries expected from its groundbreaking data in the future – including, hopefully, what the planet looks like inside.