Glancing Back


Dec. 2, 2019

Jupiter southern hemisphere

Just after its close flyby of Jupiter on Nov. 3, 2019, NASA’s Juno spacecraft caught this striking view of Jupiter’s southern hemisphere as the spacecraft sped away from the giant planet. This image captures massive cyclones near Jupiter’s south pole, as well as the chaotic clouds of the folded filamentary region — the turbulent area between the orange band and the brownish polar region.

When this image was taken, Juno was traveling at about 85,000 mph (137,000 kilometers per hour) relative to the planet. A little more than an hour earlier — at the point of closest approach to the cloud tops — the spacecraft reached speeds relative to Jupiter in excess of 130,000 mph (209,000 kilometers per hour).

Citizen scientist Ali Abbasi created this image using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager. It was taken on Nov. 3, 2019, at 3:29 p.m. PST (6:29 p.m. EST) as Juno performed its 23rd close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 65,500 miles (104,600 kilometers) from the planet at a latitude of about -70 degrees.

JunoCam’s raw images are available for the public to peruse and process into image products at

More information about Juno is at and

Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS
Image processing by AliAbbasiPov, © CC BY

Last Updated: Dec. 2, 2019

Editor: Sarah Loff

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Len Werner
December 3, 2019 10:22 pm

WAY more exciting gas-ball than Greta.

December 3, 2019 10:36 pm

Its nice to be able to access raw data, instead of the carefully adjusted stuff that the Greens much prefer.

A beautiful picture, many thanks.


December 4, 2019 1:12 am

The ability of Juno to survive Jupiter’s magnetic field is a significant accomplishment. link

To help protect the spacecraft and instrument electronics, Juno has a radiation vault about the size of a car trunk made of titanium that limits the radiation exposure to Juno’s command and data handling box (the spacecraft’s brain), power and data distribution unit (its heart) and about 20 other electronic assemblies. But the instruments themselves need to be outside of the vault in order to make their observations.

Reply to  commieBob
December 4, 2019 7:49 am

Deep space is not to be trifled with. Much as the initial explorers discovered as they ventured farther from shore that the ocean is unconcerned and unforgiving to the intentions of its travelers.
However, as the first shipwrights learned about the environment they managed to design means to defeat the unpleasant elements.
We new shipwrights are just beginning to explore the oceans of space, and are learning as we go. We send expendable probes out to measure the regions with the best protection we believe they will need to survive based upon our present knowledge and experience.

As to hardening electronic hardware: We actually have our war-like selves to thank for that. Since we discovered how to beam radio energy at targets we discovered also how to protect those selfsame machines from the very radiation they emit. Much of our hardening and survival knowledge was determined by our desires to conquer. Now it is turned towards conquering space.

Reply to  commieBob
December 4, 2019 8:44 am

I was on the design team for the RAD750 radiation hardened processor and am super proud of the chip. Even with all the circuit and process tricks needed to survive in ordinary space applications like Deep Impact, the first use, Jupiter’s radiation is beyond any ability of circuitry or silicon chip manufacturing process to overcome.

Reply to  fthoma
December 4, 2019 8:54 am

I meant to qualify the last statement to include “ordinary circuitry” and “without the shield”. The radiation resistant circuitry involved careful spacing of elements and circuit by circuit redundancy to prevent propagation of bit errors caused by the proton flux.

Jack Okie
Reply to  fthoma
December 4, 2019 5:50 pm

It is an amazing achievement; you are justifiably proud. And I am struck once again by the sheer technological prowess that allows us to send Juno and the amazing Voyagers so far from home.

December 4, 2019 1:29 am

Those cyclones are due to ONLY one thing – the increase in CO2 on planet Earth AND that is entirely due to And no further correspondence will be entered into.
The saddest sad sacks at Madrid.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  toorightmate
December 10, 2019 2:44 am

toorightmate December 4, 2019 at 1:29 am:

Those cyclones are due to ONLY one thing – the increase in CO2 on planet Earth AND that is entirely due to climate change And no further correspondence will be entered into.


The saddest sad sacks at Madrid.


Regards, FIFY.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
December 4, 2019 1:36 am

Fascinating picture and so nice to see a piece of real science. I’m glad WUWT gives us features on geology, astronomy and space exploration -it is a necessary antidote to the climate madness that floods our world news so much.

Carl Friis-Hansen
December 4, 2019 2:04 am

Here is a nice schematic of the instrumentation on Juno:
I just wonder how they determine the speed of Juno. It appears difficult a triangulation to the spacecraft is possible, so is there a clock on board to help do the calculation?

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
December 4, 2019 7:38 am

IMU (inertial measurement unit), star tracking systems, and clock as well as communication from earth. Much was already calculated with proscribed burn times to optimize fuel conservation. Mid course corrections are planned for, but not completely known. They can often be handled with very small maneuvering thrusters (sometimes referred to as “mouse-fart” thrusters for their impulse). But Juno had some significant deep space maneuvers which had to be planned for and timed precisely. I’ve included a link below about the orbital trajectory planning.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
December 10, 2019 2:53 am

Carl Friis-Hansen December 4, 2019 at 2:04 am

Here is a nice schematic of the instrumentation on Juno:

[ ]

I just wonder how they determine the speed of Juno. It appears difficult a triangulation to the spacecraft is possible, so is there a clock on board to help do the calculation?


How are Cepheids used as distance markers?

Cepheids as Distance Markers:

The important feature of a Cepheid Variable that allows it to be used for distance measurements is that its period is related directly to its luminosity . …

From there we can calculate how much further away the star must be than the Sun to make it the brightness we see from Earth. › ~mjp


Variable Stars – Cepheids as Distance Markers:

December 4, 2019 3:56 am

Nice! I love this stuff.

This takes my mind off the stupid people who are trying to wreck our civilization, for just a few minutes.


Tom Abbott
December 4, 2019 5:56 am

I don’t think NASA had planned on putting a camera on the Juno probe, but the people who built the probe wanted to include a visible-light camera and finally managed to get it included, and it became one of the most important instruments on board. We humans have to have those pictures!

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 4, 2019 6:50 am

What would be the point of sending it without a camera? They’ve had cameras on just about every single probe they’ve launched, as far as I know.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 4, 2019 10:53 am

“What would be the point of sending it without a camera?”

I think the people who promoted that idea thought a camera would be superfluous for some reason that was never fully explained.

I’m with you, what’s the point of sending one without a camera. Fortunately, more imaginative minds prevailed.

December 4, 2019 7:06 am

Hopefully the picture is not inverted and reversed.

Looks to be multiple chains of storms with clockwise circulation.
How interesting! One does get curious about storm formation on Jupiter?
Is this Jupiter pole facing the sun at this time?

The storms highlighted by their white color in the next higher latitude atmospheric band appear to be counter-clockwise rotations.

Looks like every atmosphere band through the higher latitudes have their own storms. Most look to be counter-clockwise. Very intriguing.

Thank you, Sarah Loff!

Reply to  ATheoK
December 4, 2019 11:26 am
December 4, 2019 10:54 am

More of the space science
Parker Solar Probe beams back first insights from sun’s edge
“The first three encounters of the solar probe that we have had so far have been spectacular ….. We can see the magnetic structure of the corona, which tells us that the solar wind is emerging from small coronal holes; we see impulsive activity, large jets or switchbacks, which we think are related to the origin of the solar wind. And we are also surprised by the ferocity of the dust environment.”
“The corona is a million degrees, but the sun’s surface is only thousands. It’s as if the Earth’s surface temperature were the same, but its atmosphere was many thousands of degrees. How can that work? You’d expect to get colder as you moved away.”

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