Jupiter's Swirling South Pole
This image of Jupiter's swirling south polar region was captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft as it neared completion of its tenth close flyby of the gas giant planet.
The "empty" space above and below Jupiter in this color-enhanced image can trick the mind, causing the viewer to perceive our solar system's largest planet as less colossal than it is. In reality, Jupiter is wide enough to fit 11 Earths across its clouded disk.
The spacecraft captured this image on Dec. 16, 2017, at 11:07 PST (2:07 p.m. EST) when the spacecraft was about 64,899 miles (104,446 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a latitude of 83.9 degrees south -- almost directly over Jupiter's south pole.
The spatial scale in this image is 43.6 miles/pixel (70.2 kilometers/pixel).
Citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt processed this image using data from the JunoCam imager.
JunoCam's raw images are available at www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam for the public to peruse and process into image products.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA's New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages JPL for NASA.