Juno: More Jupiter images processed by citizen scientists

These processed photos of Jupiter made by the Juno spacecraft never get old:

Intricate Clouds of Jupiter

Jupiter image processed by citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill.

See intricate cloud patterns in the northern hemisphere of Jupiter in this new view taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft.

The color-enhanced image was taken on April 1 at 2:32 a.m. PST (5:32 a.m. EST), as Juno performed its twelfth close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 7,659 miles (12,326 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a northern latitude of 50.2 degrees.

Citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill processed this image using data from the JunoCam imager.

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: https://www.nasa.gov/juno and http://missionjuno.swri.edu

Image credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

Last Updated: April 6, 2018
Editor: Tony Greicius


Two other Juno images recently posted by citizen scientists:

A detailed look at the southern hemisphere, showing the swirling colors of the Jovian storms. Processed by K_L_Kohn
“Orbiting Jupiter In The Way To The Red One”. Processed by Rafael_Ruiz.


Videos: “Space to Ground” ISS report – April.6.2018

Here is the latest Space to Ground report from NASA on activities related to the International Space Station:

This cool video shows a time lapse (90 minutes into 2 minutes) of the SpaceX Dragon approaching the ISS for capture by the robotic arm this past Wednesday:

This video is about the entrepreneurial company Alpha Space, which

owns and operates the MISSE, an orbiting commercial science facility permanently installed on the exterior of the International Space Station. Alpha Space, a woman- and minority-owned company, serves the Space Research, Testing, and Materials Science communities with turn-key, fixed price services that make getting science and test elements safely into space, and data and materials back to earth, as simple and inexpensive as possible. If it fits, it flies.


Videos: Lots of rockets flying this week

A sampling of the rockets flying this past week:

** Virgin Galactic‘s SpaceShipTwo “Unity” flew under its own rocket power for the first time on Thursday when it fired its hybrid motor  (solid fuel + liquid oxidizer) after dropping from the WhiteKnightTwo carrier airplane: VSS Unity First Powered Flight: A major step forward – Virgin Galactic

** A SpaceX Falcon 9 on Monday sent a Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station with almost 3 tons of science and technology R&D materials and equipment plus other supplies for the crew: New Research Heading to Space Station on 14th SpaceX Resupply Mission | NASA

Note that both the Falcon 9 first stage booster and the Dragon spacecraft had flown before, illustrating the progress SpaceX is making towards routine reuse of space transport systems.

On Wednesday the Dragon caught up with the ISS and was captured by the station’s robotic arm of the station under the control of Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai, who .brought it in for berthing to the Harmony module:

** On Thursday an Arianespace Ariane V rocket sent two large communications satellites towards geostationary orbits: Mission success: Flight VA242 orbits DSN-1/Superbird-8 for SKY Perfect JSAT and HYLAS 4 for Avanti Communications – Arianespace

** Last Saturday, a Black Brant IX sounding rocket with the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment or ASPIRE, launched on a suborbital flight from NASA Wallops on the Virginia coastline: Mars Parachute Test Successfully Launched from Wallops | NASA


Video: Satellite monitoring of forests and deforestation

Satellites are key to monitoring the state of forests around the world (e.g. see posts here and here). The company Planet has over 175 small satellites in orbit that are observing the earth and imaging the entire surface of the world every day, including views of every forest there is. In recognition of International Day of Forests back on March 21st, Planet released a video showing 7000 thumbnail images of forests around the world taken in a single day: Capturing the World’s Forests Over a Single Day – Planet Stories – Medium

From the Planet item:

Pretty wild, right? Now what if we told you the video contains only a fraction of the total number of forest imagery Planet collects in a day — in this case, around 95,000 images. Planet collects a massive amount of data each day and has around 500 images for any given location on Earth. To extract “forests” from this data, we used an algorithm built to detect forest cover, dense green imagery, and high near-infrared averages.

To help people actually “see the forests for the trees,” we then applied more filters to those 95,000 images so those with lots of cloud cover or with visible defects were removed. (Fun fact: it would take around 30 minutes to watch all 95,000 images at 5 images per second — not exactly optimized for social.) Afterward, we organized imagery by continent and built an animation to showcase the scale and diversity of forests globally.

Such imagery is interesting but can also generated real data on the major problem of deforestation:

Of course, forests are not always untouched, pristine places, but dynamic environments that change dramatically with human interaction. Sadly, the world loses an area of forest the size of 48 football fields every minute due to deforestation and forest degradation.

Here is an infographic sent to me by a reader illustrating that high rate of the loss of forests around the world: The Scale of Deforestation – Eco2 Greetings