First 3D images from JunoCam data show ‘frozen cupcake’ clouds on Jupiter

The visible light intensity data seen by the camera can be plotted as a 3D elevation scene. This is a still image from a computer animation showing a flight over such a landscape of red-processed, filtered image data collected by JunoCam, the wide-angle visible-light imager of NASA’s Juno spacecraft, as it flew near Jupiter 43. Image credits: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstädt

Animations of the relative heights of Jupiter’s cloud tops reveal finely woven swirls and peaks resembling frost on top of a cupcake. The results were presented today by citizen scientist, professional mathematician and software developer, Gerald Eichstadt, at the Europlanet Science Conference (EPSC) 2022 in Granada.

The animation uses data from JunoCam, the visible-light camera aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016. Put it on board initially to increase Public Post On the exploration of Jupiter and its moons, a global team of citizen scientists, working in collaboration with professional astronomers and the Juno team, have proven that JunoCam can also provide valuable science.







The visible light intensity data seen by the camera can be plotted as a 3D elevation scene. This computer animation shows a flight over such a landscape of red-processed, filtered image data collected by JunoCam, the wide-angle visible-light imager of NASA’s Juno spacecraft, as it flew near Jupiter 43. The image behind this was taken Flying at a nominal altitude of 13,536.3 km above the tops of Jupiter’s cloud. In general, the brighter cloud tops correlate with their higher altitude, especially when observed in the methane absorption band of 890 nm. But there are exceptions, mostly caused by the color of the cloud top and the albedo. Juno scientists are working on a calibration that translates the brightness of these landscapes into actual models of elevation models above the cloud. Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald

“The Juno mission offers us an opportunity to observe Jupiter in a way that is essentially inaccessible through ground-based telescopic observations. We can look at the same features of the cloud from very different angles in just a few minutes,” said Dr. Echstadt. “This has opened up a new opportunity to derive 3D elevation models of Jupiter’s cloud tops. Images of gorgeous chaotic storms on Jupiter appear to come to life, showing clouds rising at different heights.”

Using the different ways in which sunlight is reflected and scattered by clouds, the team succeeded in determining the height of the observed cloud tops. Solar illumination is the most intense in relation to clouds in upper atmosphere. Deep in the atmosphere, more light is absorbed – particularly by methane – before being scattered back onto the camera by cloud tops.

Understanding the relative heights of the spiny shafts within the eddies will help scientists reveal in more detail what components they are made of.

The first 3D images from JunoCam data show clouds

The visible light intensity data seen by the camera can be plotted as a 3D elevation scene. This is a still image from a computer animation showing a flight over such a landscape of red-processed, filtered image data collected by JunoCam, the wide-angle visible-light imager of NASA’s Juno spacecraft, as it flew near Jupiter 43. Image credits: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstädt

“From theoretical modelsThe clouds are expected to consist of different chemical types, ammonia, ammonium hydrosulfide, and water ice from top to bottom,” Dr. Eichstadt added. Once our data has been calibrated thanks to other measurements of the same cloud tops, we will test and refine the theoretical predictions and get a better 3D picture of the chemical composition. ”


Clouds on Jupiter rise above the surrounding atmosphere


more information:
Eichstädt, G., Orton, G., and Hansen-Koharcheck, C: Long-Baseline Observations with JunoCam, Europlanet Science Congress 2022, Granada, Spain, Sep 18–23 2022, EPSC2022-1124, 2022. meetingorganizer.copernicus.or… 2 / EPSC2022-1124.html

Provided by Europlanet

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