Jo­vian ‘Twi­light Zone’

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Snapshot -

This im­age cap­tures the swirling cloud for­ma­tions around the south pole of Jupiter, look­ing up to­ward the equa­to­rial re­gion.

NASA’s Juno space­craft took the colouren­hanced im­age dur­ing its eleventh close flyby of the gas gi­ant planet on Feb. 7 at 7:11 a.m. PST (10:11 a.m. EST). At the time, the space­craft was 74,896 miles (120,533 kilo­me­tres) from the tops of Jupiter’s clouds at 84.9 de­grees south lat­i­tude.

Cit­i­zen sci­en­tist Ger­ald Eich­städt pro­cessed this im­age us­ing data from the JunoCam im­ager. This im­age was cre­ated by re­pro­cess­ing raw JunoCam data us­ing tra­jec­tory and point­ing data from the space­craft. This im­age is one in a se­ries of im­ages taken in an ex­per­i­ment to cap­ture the best re­sults for il­lu­mi­nated parts of Jupiter’s po­lar re­gion.

To make fea­tures more vis­i­ble in Jupiter’s ter­mi­na­tor — the re­gion where day meets night — the Juno team ad­justed JunoCam so that it would per­form like a por­trait pho­tog­ra­pher tak­ing mul­ti­ple pho­tos at dif­fer­ent exposures, hop­ing to cap­ture one im­age with the in­tended light bal­ance. For JunoCam to col­lect enough light to re­veal fea­tures in Jupiter’s dark twi­light zone, the much brighter il­lu­mi­nated day-side of Jupiter be­comes over­ex­posed with the higher ex­po­sure.


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