Photo credit: NASA / JPL / SwRI / MSSS
NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured this incredible photograph of Jupiter’s tumultuous northern regions during the spacecraft’s close approach to the planet on Feb. 17, 2020. What stands out are the long, thin bands that run through the center of the image from top to bottom. Juno has observed these phenomenon since its first close pass by Jupiter in 2016 and are basically layers of haze particles that float above the underlying cloud features. Read more for a video and additional information.
Scientists have not yet figured out exactly what these hazes are made of or how they form. Two jet streams in the planet’s atmosphere flank either side of the region where the narrow bands of haze normally appear, and some researchers think those jet streams may influence the formation of the high hazes.
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This JunoCam image was processed by citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt. It was taken on Feb. 17, 2020 at 9:29 a.m. PST (12:29 p.m. EST), as the Juno spacecraft performed its 25th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 15,610 miles (25,120 kilometers) from the planet’s cloud tops at a latitude of about 71 degrees North,” according to NASA.