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Photos Of Jupiter That Are Out Of This World

Jupiter, the giant in our solar system, has fascinated humans since we first looked up to the skies. We got our first glimpse of Jupiter 45 years ago, and since then, astronomers haven't been able to get enough of the giant planet. Unfortunately, Jupiter is not easy to travel to: at 338 times Earth's mass, Jupiter has the largest magnetic field in the solar system, meaning that anything that gets close (by close we mean millions of miles) will get fried by radiation, including life-saving electronics for humans. For now, we'll have to be satisfied with observing it from afar - and with the advancements in space travel technology and camera technology, we've got pretty incredible photos to feast our eyes on. 

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  • first photo of saturn taken by pioneer 11 funky retro vibe
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    Via Wired

    This photograph of Jupiter was taken by Pioneer 11, a robotic space probe that was launched by NASA in 1973. Jupiter is actually flipped upside down in this shot (although there's not really a strict 'up' and 'down' in space), with it's north pole at the bottom of the photo. When Pioneer 11 took this photo, the spacecraft was using Jupiter's gravity to slingshot it out toward Saturn. The color and retro feel of this image definitely gives it a funky 70's vibe, and we love it. 


  • detailed image of jupiter taken in 2019 with blue aurora at north pole
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    Via Wired

    This photo was taken a full 43 years later in 2016, and we can really notice the difference in the quality of the camera technology. This snap was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched into low Earth orbit in the 1990's and remains there today. Since it orbits outside the distortion of Earth's atmosphere, it is able to take extremely high-resolution photos without the background light than ground-based telescoped tend to have. In this photo, we can see Jupiter's iconic bands, it's Great Red Spot, and it's aurora at the north pole, which is like our auroras on Earth, but much more powerful. It's pretty incredible to see Jupiter in this much detail, isn't it? 


  • photo of jupiter with small moon Io in front of it
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    Via Wired
    A few years after Pioneer 11 was launched in the early 1970's, NASA launched the twin Voyager spacecrafts to explore the unexplored parts of our solar system. Voyager 1 became the first spacecraft to travel further into space that any man or machine had ever done before. When Voyager 2 arrived at Jupiter (which means it was 8 million miles away from the planet), it took this photo. The small planet is Io, Jupiter's smallest and closest Galillean moon (there are four of them, and they were discovered by Galileo). Io is covered in volcanoes and it's the most volcanically active planet in our solar system. Jupiter has 79 moons. 



  • infrared photo taken of jupiter's storms taken by juno spacecraft
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    Via Wired

    This incredible photo was taken in May 2019 by NASA's Juno spacecraft. The space probe goes around Jupiter every 52 days, and it's orbit is elliptical, swooping in close then swinging out away from the planet. This photograph was taken when Juno was approaching Jupiter, and it captured the incredible storms that seem to always be ravaging Jupiter's surface. This image was taken with an infrared camera, revealing layer after layer of storms and cyclones that we had never witnessed before. It turns out that many storms on Jupiter are invisible to the naked eye, suggesting that the storms on Jupiter may be a lot more complex than previously thought. 


  • picture of the storms on jupiter's pole half planet blue pole
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    Via Wired

    This is an image taken by the Juno spacecraft, which is in a polar orbit around Jupiter - meaning that it flies over the north pole, then ducks under the south pole. These two regions are of great interest to the scientific community because of their high concentration of cyclones and storms. These aren't ordinary Earth storms, by the way. Jupiter is a gas giant, it's atmosphere is made up of hydrogen and helium, and the atmospheric pressure on it's surface is three times that of Earth's. These factors combined mean that the storms on Jupiter are extremely powerful, alien storms. 


  • surface of jupiter cream colored surface clouds
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    Via Wired

    This photo, taken by Juno, is falsely colored into a shade of rose. Jupiter is usually a blend of creams and tans, but when edited to be a rose color, we are able to see something very interesting in this photo: in the center of the image, there is an elongated clump of white clouds. These are upper atmosphere clouds, which no-one had ever seen on Jupiter before until Juno started making it's rounds. 

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