Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2018 December 14
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
the highest resolution version available.

Swimming on Jupiter
Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, SwRI, MSSS; Processing: Brian Swift, Sean Doran

Explanation: On October 29, the Juno spacecraft once again dove near the turbulent Jovian cloud tops. Its 16th orbital closest approach or perijove passage, brought Juno within 3,500 kilometers of the Solar System's largest planetary atmosphere. These frames, recorded by JunoCam while the spacecraft cruised 20 - 50 thousand kilometers above the planet's middle southern latitudes, seem to follow a swirling cloud shaped remarkably like a dolphin. Swimming along Jupiter's darker South South Temperate Belt, this dolphin is itself planet-sized though, some thousands of kilometers across. Juno's next perijove passage will be December 21.

Tomorrow's picture: light-weekend


< | Archive | Submissions | Index | Search | Calendar | RSS | Education | About APOD | Discuss | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.