NASA just released 14 awesome new photos of Jupiter - We Are The Mighty
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NASA just released 14 awesome new photos of Jupiter

It’s been a busy and exhilarating couple of months for scientists who study Jupiter— and space nerds fascinated by the gas giant.

On July 18, 2018, a team of researchers announced the discovery of 12 new Jovian moons, bringing Jupiter’s total up to 79. In July 2018, scientists revealed that data from NASA’s $1 billion Juno mission suggested there may be a previously undiscovered volcano on Jupiter’s moon Io. And in June 2018, the team behind Juno figured out that Jupiter’s lighting is more similar to Earth’s than previously thought — which solved a 39-year-old mystery.


But most excitingly, NASA confirmed in June 2018 that Juno, which has orbited Jupiter since July 2015, will cheat death for at least three more years. The probe was scheduled to crash into Jupiter’s clouds in July 2018, but instead the mission has been extended until at least July 2021.

That gives scientists a chance to complete the mission’s main goal: to map Jupiter’s magnetic and gravitational fields.

This work is done by flying Juno over Jupiter’s cloud tops at speeds roughly 75 times as fast as a bullet. These flybys, called perijoves, happen once every 53.5 days. The most recent one (Juno’s 14th perijove) occurred on July 16, 2018, and the prior flyby was on May 24, 2018.

The high-speed trips have allowed NASA to document the gas giant like never before. An optical camera called JunoCam captures beautiful images of Jupiter each time, and the space agency uploads the raw photo data to its websites. Then people around the world can download that data and process it into stunning color pictures.

Here are 13 mesmerizing images from the latest perijove, along with a few highlights from past flybys.

NASA just released 14 awesome new photos of Jupiter
NASA just released 14 awesome new photos of Jupiter

This high-contrast photo was processed by NASA software engineer Kevin M. Gill, who processes raw data from each perijove soon after it becomes available. You can find more of his work on Twitter or Flickr.

NASA just released 14 awesome new photos of Jupiter
NASA just released 14 awesome new photos of Jupiter

A 3D illustration of Jupiter’s stormy north pole made using infrared photos taken by NASA’s Juno probe.

NASA just released 14 awesome new photos of Jupiter
NASA just released 14 awesome new photos of Jupiter
NASA just released 14 awesome new photos of Jupiter

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot looks like a leering ruddy-red eye in this processed image from Juno’s 12th perijove.

NASA just released 14 awesome new photos of Jupiter
NASA just released 14 awesome new photos of Jupiter
NASA just released 14 awesome new photos of Jupiter

Doran also made this mysterious portrait of the planet, in which you can see the twinkle of myriad stars in the background.

You can see more of Doran’s work on his Twitter or Flickr pages, and he also sells some of his Jupiter images as posters through the platform Redbubble.

NASA just released 14 awesome new photos of Jupiter

An illustration of NASA’s Juno probe flying over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot superstorm.

NASA just released 14 awesome new photos of Jupiter

Half of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa as seen via images taken by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s.

NASA just released 14 awesome new photos of Jupiter

Jupiter as seen by the Juno probe during its 10th perijove.

For the next three years, though, we’ll continue to get new batches of incredible images from the farthest solar-powered spacecraft ever launched from Earth.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

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