Jupiter's "String of Pearls"

 
An image from the JunoCam imager of massive rotating storms in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere.  

An image from the JunoCam imager of massive rotating storms in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere.

 

This image, taken by the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft, highlights the “string of pearls” on Jupiter—massive counterclockwise rotating storms that appear as white ovals in the gas giant’s southern hemisphere. Since 1986, these white ovals have varied in number from six to nine. There are currently eight white ovals visible.

The image was captured on December 11 as the Juno spacecraft performed its third close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 15,300 miles from the planet. Juno, which launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in August 2011, arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016.

JunoCam is a visible-light camera designed to capture pictures of Jupiter’s poles and cloud tops. As Juno’s eyes, it affords a wide view, helping to provide context for the spacecraft’s other instruments. JunoCam was included on the spacecraft specifically for purposes of public engagement; although its images will be helpful to the science team, it is not considered one of the mission’s science instruments.

For more information on Juno, visit www.jpl.nasa.gov.