Some great views of two gas giants in our solar system;

** Approaching Jupiter | NASA   

This enhanced color view of Jupiter’s south pole was created by citizen scientist Gabriel Fiset using data from the JunoCam instrument on NASA’s Juno spacecraft.  Oval storms dot the cloudscape. Approaching the pole, the organized turbulence of Jupiter’s belts and zones transitions into clusters of unorganized filamentary structures, streams of air that resemble giant tangled strings.

The image was taken on Dec. 11, 2016 at 9:44 a.m. PST (12:44 p.m. EST), from an altitude of about 32,400 miles (52,200 kilometers) above the planet’s beautiful cloud tops.

JunoCam’s raw images are available for the public to peruse and process into image products at: www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam

More information about Juno is at: http://www.nasa.gov/juno and http://missionjuno.swri.edu

** Hail the Hexagon | NASA

Saturn’s hexagonal polar jet stream is the shining feature of almost every view of the north polar region of Saturn. The region, in shadow for the first part of the Cassini mission, now enjoys full sunlight, which enables Cassini scientists to directly image it in reflected light.

Although the sunlight falling on the north pole of Saturn is enough to allow us to image and study the region, it does not provide much warmth. In addition to being low in the sky (just like summer at Earth’s poles), the sun is nearly ten times as distant from Saturn as from Earth. This results in the sunlight being only about 1 percent as intense as at our planet.

This view looks toward Saturn from about 31 degrees above the ring plane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 22, 2017 using a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 939 nanometers.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 560,000 miles (900,000 kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 33 miles (54 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and https://www.nasa.gov/cassini. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at https://ciclops.org.

** Cassini: The Grand Finale: Amateur Images – A couple of items from postings by outsider users of NASA raw images

Saturn Mosaic – Ian Regan

Enceladus Over Saturn’s Rings by Sergio Maria-Fagundez

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