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Pop-up clouds on Jupiter

Pop-up clouds on Jupiter
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo above was cropped and enhanced by citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt from a raw Juno image taken during that spacecraft’s 37th orbit. I have reduced it slightly to post here.

The photo shows what he calls “pop-up” clouds floating above a much larger cloud eddy. Unfortunately, Eichstädt provides no scale, but I suspect this image would easily cover the Earth, with those white clouds probably far larger than the biggest hurricane on Earth.


Conscious Choice cover

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From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
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  • Gerald Eichstädt

    Hi Robert,
    Thanks for choosing this PJ37 image!
    Here a statement which is neither peer-reviewed nor cross-checked. So, consider it my preliminary and unofficial opinion:
    I would estimate the horizontal extent of the image to cover about 4,000 km. I retrieved the estimate from a north polar azimuthal map I’ve rendered in the meanwhile. Don’t nail me down to the exact value. The view is somewhat oblique. So the vertical and the horizontal scale aren’t quite the same.
    We don’t know yet the accurate true nature of those cumulus-like “pop-up” clouds. Therefore that informal name. But I’m pretty sure that they are a result of local upwelling. Earth-analogs could be any cumulus-type cloud ranging from cirrocumulus to hailstorms. This remains subject to further investigation. Interestingly, in this case, they are on-top of those huge and very turbulent storm systems.
    According to the metadata of the image (PJ37 image #034), it was taken from an altitude of 3,288.4 km above Jupiter’s cloud tops, or let’s better say above its IAU 1-bar level. The nominal subspacecraft position was 27.1129°N, 47.1482°E, planetocentric L3. Due to the high velocity of the spacecraft near perijove, the framelets the image is recontructed from are actually taken from different points along Juno’s trajectory.
    Despite the image being cropped to a horizontal field of view of about 39°, the oblique pointing towards Jupiter ends up with covering roughly 4,000 km. The nearby horizon in the full image is located left of the cropped area. So, the left side of the image is more condensed than the right one.

  • Gerald: Thank you for the comment. If you search my website for your name you will see that I have featured quite a number of your Juno enhanced shots.

    Now that I have your email address, I will email you next time I want to post one.

  • Gerald Eichstädt

    Thank you, Robert, for helping to promote the Juno project!
    From time to time, I search the web for my name, and happen to find your web site.
    Often enough, there is only few time to find out additional information about an image and to prepare a detailed caption for the images I post. But sometimes, I may be able to provide information beyond the caption on the missionjuno website.

    There will likely be times I’m too busy to check my emails.
    In that case or if my response via email takes too long, just post your article the way you used to in the past.

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