This Isn't a Painting. This Is Jupiter
Listen, Earth is pretty cool, but we won’t blame you if you find it a little boring. After seeing the same blue and green orb for most of our lives, it can lose its luster. Thank goodness we have more than one planet in this ecosystem, which we can all hopefully visit in this century.
From Mars’ barren hills to Venus’ fiery landscape, each planet is a sight to behold. But right now, our favorite is definitely Jupiter.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft recently snapped a stunning shot of Jupiter that revealed a more detailed look at the large planet’s stormy atmosphere. Citizen scientist Bjorn Jonsson processed Juno’s photo to create two images. The first shows what Jupiter would look like using the same colors that a human observer could interpret.
The second is a more enhanced version of the photo with stronger saturation and contrast to get a clearer vision of Jupiter’s stunning atmosphere. The result? A stunning shot that looks more like a painting than reality.
The photo revealed even more swirls and ripples that point to how complicated the giant gas planet actually is. It's a mystifying and ethereal mix of blues, greens, and browns. As magical as it appears, the contrasting colors can be explained by the different chemical compositions of Jupiter’s atmosphere.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft will continue orbiting Jupiter until 2025, so we have until then to enjoy these stunning closeups of the giant gas planet. Once that’s over, it might be decades before we engineer the means to visit Jupiter ourselves. But don’t worry—it might just be in our lifetimes.