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NASA Reveals Stunning Photo of Crescent Jupiter With Great Red Spot

Jan 20, 2017 04:26 AM EST
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A citizen scientist created a stunning crescent image of Jupiter. Despite the obstructed view of the planet, its great red spot is still visible on the image.

It looks like the moon at first glance due to the crescent form, but it actually is a photo of Jupiter. The planet is seldom seen in a crescent form, but thanks to Juno, the public can now enjoy the stunning image and create beautifully enhanced outputs from the archives.

The image is part of the Juno database of images that NASA recently released to the public. According to Space.com, a citizen scientist created the images of the crescent Jupiter.

What makes the image distinctively show the characteristic of Jupiter is the great red spot of storms on the surface of the gas planet. The storms are also known as string of pearls that have recently been photographed by Juno during the recent flyby of the planet.

NASA officially released the image last Jan. 13. The agency also identified the scientist behind the stunning visuals. The now iconic image of Jupiter with the great red spot was created by citizen scientist Roman Tkachenko based on the images taken by Juno's JunoCam instrument aboard the spacecraft.

"The image was taken on Dec. 11, 2016 at 2:30 p.m. PST (5:30 p.m. EST), as the Juno spacecraft performed its third close flyby of Jupiter," a NASA official said in the photo description. "At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 285,100 miles (458,800 kilometers) from the planet."

Jupiter is considered as the "biggest and baddest" planet in the Solar System. The NASA's Juno spacecraft is currently performing a series of flyby to the planet in order to capture images for further study. The challenge for Juno is to survive the environment near the planet and at the same time, produce never-before-seen footage of Jupiter to give researchers and scientists a new take on an old planet that may result in new discoveries about Jupiter and the formation of the Solar System.

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