Juno and the public combine forces on Jupiter image

NASA provides images to JunoCam site to allow everyday people the chance to shape a mission
Jupiter south pole juno This image was enhanced to reveal the incredible swirls, storms, and colours in the atmosphere of Jupiter. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gabriel Fiset)

One of the great things about the internet is the way that it allows people to share information. Instantly. And often for free.

NASA has been taking advantage of this fact for a while now. Its huge bank of images from its satellites and probes are available for anyone to access. We talked about this recently when we looked at the probe Cassini's latest pictures of Saturn.

While Cassini is nearing the end of its 20-year mission, Juno, a probe sent to Jupiter, is still near the start of its planetary visit. And once again, NASA is going above and beyond to be sure that the public can get involved. One of the best examples of this? The stunning image on today's post.

Power to the people

NASA scientists celebrate the moment that Juno was successfully inserted into Jupiter orbit, July 4th, 2016. (Getty Embed)

This picture (at the top of the post) of Jupiter's south pole was created by Gabriel Fiset, a citizen scientist (that's a term for a person who takes up scientific interests in his or her spare time). He got the picture by visiting NASA's JunoCam site. He then used his computer to enhance the colours in the image so that we can see better Jupiter's natural (and powerful) beauty.

The entire planet is full of vicious storms that are similar to its trademark feature, the Great Red Spot. We can happily stare at it for a very long time. There are so many cool patterns to pick out!

Vote and get involved

The JunoCam site that Fiset used is also pretty special. It contains access to every image that Juno has taken since arriving at Jupiter, but that is just the start. It is also a community for citizen scientists and amateur astronomers to upload their own pictures of Jupiter, discuss the mission, and even vote on what parts of the planet should be photographed next.

What a neat opportunity! Thanks, NASA!

Here's a video featuring actual footage shot by Juno as it approached Jupiter last June.

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