Stormy Day at Jupiter
Small bright clouds dot Jupiter's entire south tropical zone in this image acquired by JunoCam on NASA's Juno spacecraft on May 19, 2017, at an altitude of 7,990 miles (12,858 kilometers). Although the bright clouds appear tiny in this vast Jovian cloudscape, they actually are cloud towers roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers) wide and 30 miles (50 kilometers) high that cast shadows on the clouds below. On Jupiter, clouds this high are almost certainly composed of water and/or ammonia ice, and they may be sources of lightning. This is the first time so many cloud towers have been visible, possibly because the late-afternoon lighting is particularly good at this geometry.
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.