A Hot Spot on Jupiter
This composite image shows a hot spot in Jupiter's atmosphere. In the image on the left, taken on Sept. 16, 2020, by the Gemini North telescope on the island of Hawaii, the hot spot appears bright in the infrared at a wavelength of 5 microns. In the inset image on the right, taken by Juno's JunoCam visible-light imager, also on Sept. 16 during Juno's 29th perijove pass, the hot spot appears dark.
Scientists have known of Jupiter's hot spots for a long time. On Dec. 7, 1995, the Galileo probe likely descended into a similar hot spot. To the naked eye, Jupiter's hot spots appear as dark, cloud-free areas in Jupiter's equatorial belt, but at infrared wavelengths, which are invisible to the human eye, they are extremely bright, revealing the warm, deep atmosphere below the clouds.
High-resolution images of hot spots such as these are key both to understanding the role of storms and waves in Jupiter's atmosphere.
Citizen scientist Brian Swift processed the images to enhance the color and contrast, with further processing by Tom Momary to map the JunoCam image to the Gemini data.
The international Gemini North telescope is a 26.6-foot-diameter (8.1-meter-diameter) optical/infrared telescope optimized for infrared observations, and is managed for the NSF by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).
JunoCam's raw images are available for the public to peruse and process into image products at
https://missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam/processing. More information about NASA citizen science can be found at https://science.nasa.gov/citizenscience and https://www.nasa.gov/solve/opportunities/citizenscience.