A close-up image of Jupiter captured by NASA's robotic space probe Juno shows the stormy planet in stunning detail.
Most images of Jupiter are taken from far away, either from Earth or from a great enough distance that nearly half the planet is visible.
However, this shot is composed from several images taken relatively close in, where less than half of the planet was visible.
"From here, Jupiter still appears spherical but perspective distortion makes it look more like a marble," said NASA.
The Great Red Spot – a hurricane larger than the whole of planet Earth – looms in the upper right corner of the picture.
The hurricane has been raging on Jupiter for at least as long as telescopes have been able see it, but like most astronomical phenomena, it was not immediately understood after its discovery.
Although small eddies that feed into the storm system seem to play a role, a more full understanding of the gigantic storm cloud remains a topic of continued research – and could help to shed light on weather patterns here on Earth.
Also visible in the picture, on Jupiter's cloud tops, is a prominent dark horizontal belt containing a white oval cloud and a white zone cloud, both of which circle the planet.
The white oval cloud is a swirling high pressure system, equivalent to an Earthly anticyclone, and is one of the "string of pearls" ovals south of the Giant Red Spot.
The image was taken by the Juno spacecraft in February, during its 17th close pass of our Solar System's largest planet, and was chosen as NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day yesterday.
Juno's mission, now extended into 2021, is to study Jupiter in new ways.
It has already made several discoveries, including that Jupiter's magnetic field is surprisingly lumpy, and that some of Jupiter's cloud systems run about 3,000 kilometres into the planet.
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