A group of scientists recently used NASA’s Juno spacecraft to produce stunning 3D displays simulating how Jupiter’s raging storms appear from space. A short video, posted to YouTube by Europlanet, showed finely woven swirls and tops that the researchers said resembled cupcake frosting.
“This computer animation shows a flight over such a landscape of red-processed, filtered image data collected by JunoCam, the wide-angle visible-light imager of NASA’s Juno spacecraft, as it flew by Jupiter at 43 near it,” it read Comment on the post.
Watch the video below:
according to NEWSWEEKGerald Eichstadt, a citizen, scientist, and superspace image processor led the animation project. The researchers used JunoCam data to build digital elevation maps of the cloud tops.
Mr. Eichstadt said the Europlanet Statement.
He presented the results of the project at the Europlanet Science Conference meeting in Granada. Mr. Eichstadt also explained that this latter method has now opened up new opportunities for deriving 3D elevation models of Jupiter’s cloud tops. He added that “the pictures of the wonderful chaotic storms on Jupiter appear to come alive, and show clouds rising at different heights.”
The researchers believe that the digital model cloud could also help scientists improve their understanding of the chemical composition of clouds. “Once our data is calibrated, thanks to other measurements of the same cloud tops, we will test and refine theoretical predictions and get a better 3D picture of the chemical composition,” said the citizen scientist.
Juno was launched in 2011. It has been exploring the gas giant since 2016. The probe orbits the planet in a highly elliptical orbit, and the probe completes one orbit every 43 days. Earlier this year, Juno made its closest approach to Jupiter, reaching just over 3,300 km above the planet’s cloud tops.
The spacecraft was originally scheduled to retire in 2021, but now Juno will continue to operate until at least 2025.
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