NASA’s $1 Billion Jupiter Probe Just Sent Back Stunning New Photos Of Jupiter

An illustration of Jupiter's Clouds.NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin Gill

While most of the NASA’s workers were sipping coffee on Wednesday morning, the space agency's Juno probe was screaming over the cloud tops of Jupiter at roughly 130,000 miles per hour. The $1 billion mission sends Juno swinging around the planet on an elliptical orbit about once every 53.5 days.

The spacecraft made its eleventh close pass, or perijove, around 9:36 a.m. ET on February 7, taking some gorgeous photos of the gas giant in the process. The new images reveal giant bands of swirling storms and a unusually bright, pillowy cloud, among other features.

Sometimes it takes Juno days (or even weeks) to beam back all of its raw image data, but the JunoCam instrument's unparalleled view is always worth the wait. The images shared online rarely come from NASA, though: The data gets posted to a special website where a community of science and art enthusiasts can take the black-and-white files and tweak them into stunning color pictures, which they upload back to the site.

Here are some of the prettiest new images we've seen from Juno's latest orbit.

Jupiter's south temperate belt of clouds, as seen by Juno during its 11th perijove.NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill
The gas giant's north temperate belt photographed during Juno's 11th perijove.NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran (CC BY-NC-ND 2.)
Part of Jupiter's south pole is visible in this perijove 11 image taken by Juno and post-processed by an enthusiast.NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill
Jupiter's northern reaches on February 7, 2018.NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill
The north pole of Jupiter, as seen by Juno during its 11th perijove.NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran (CC BY-NC-ND 2.)
The south tropical zone of Jupiter.NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill
The Great Red Spot of Jupiter, as seen by NASA's Juno spacecraft during its seventh perijove, on July 10, 2017.NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill
An illustration of NASA's Juno spacecraft flying through the radiation belts of Jupiter.NASA/JPL-Caltech
A view of Jupiter taken during its eighth perijove, on September 1, 2017.NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/de Lesseps-19 (CC BY-NC-SA)

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