Dark Spot and Jovian ‘Galaxy’

This image taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft of a mysterious dark spot on Jupiter seems to reveal a Jovian “galaxy” of swirling storms.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Roman Tkachenko.

The JunoCam captured this image on 2 February 2017, at 1313 GMT, at an altitude of 14,500 kilometres (9,000 miles) above the giant planet’s cloud tops. This publicly selected target was simply titled “Dark Spot.” In ground-based images it was difficult to tell that it is a dark storm.

Citizen scientist Roman Tkachenko enhanced the colour to bring out the rich detail in the storm and surrounding clouds. Just south of the dark storm is a bright, oval-shaped storm with high, bright, white clouds, reminiscent of a swirling galaxy. As a final touch, he rotated the image 90 degrees, turning the picture into a work of art.

JunoCam’s raw images are available at www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam for the public to peruse and process into image products.