Nasa has captured another breathtaking shot of Jupiter and its turbulent atmosphere from a distant vantage point.
The space agency posted the image on 5 January, showcasing spectacular Jovian clouds swirling over the gas giant's northern hemisphere. The photograph appears to be a close-up shot but was actually taken from a distance of about 13,345km on 16 December when the Juno spacecraft was performing its most recent flyby of the planet.
The photograph highlights the beauty of Jupiter's clouds and their tumultuous nature with stunning bluish hues. The planet fills the entire image with its dark side making way just on the upper-right corner.
The whole image looks like a beautiful oil painting, much like other snapshots of the planet. However, the clouds swirling over the gas giant don't actually sport these hues.
As Space.com reports, this is an effect which occurs after the raw image, taken by Juno's JunoCam imager, is processed and colour-enhanced.
Here, citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran have done the job of processing the raw JunoCam image.
"We specifically designed the [JunoCam] to get pictures of the polar regions of Jupiter," Candy Hansen, a co-investigator of JunoCam, said in a video. "We've had a number of spacecraft that have flown past Jupiter and taken pictures, taken movies, but they have always been in the equatorial plane and so this mission is the first one that we really get up over the polar regions."
"All of our pictures are of the cloud tops. Jupiter is a ball of gas and all we will see are clouds," Hansen explained. Many other colour-enhanced versions of JunoCam images are available for online access.
The main mission of Juno continues to be the atmosphere of the planet. The spacecraft arrived on Jupiter in 2016 and has done a lot of research since then, all while capturing spectacular shots of the planet.