NASA shares cinematic Jupiter flyby video made by citizen scientist

Brittany A. Roston - Oct 14, 2020, 3:30pm CDT
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NASA shares cinematic Jupiter flyby video made by citizen scientist

A citizen scientist has transformed NASA’s raw Juno images into a cinematic flyby of Jupiter, giving the public an intimate look at the planet from a relatively close distance and in an entirely new way. NASA was impressed by the video enough to share it publicly with its followers, noting that the images were originally captured in early June.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft was launched in 2011 and has spent the majority of its time in space orbiting Jupiter, the mysterious gas giant covered in a blanket of chaotic storms. The spacecraft tasked with studying the planet, Juno, is equipped with a variety of instruments, one of which is the JunoCam. The spacecraft used this camera to capture still images as it flew by Jupiter in early June.

That was Juno’s 27th-closest flyby of the gas giant, putting it around 2,1000 miles above the upper part of Jupiter’s cloud cover. The spacecraft was whizzing past at a blistering 130,000 miles per hour when it passed the planet. Of the images captured over this approximately 90-minute flyby, 41 were used by Kevin M. Gill, the citizen scientist, to create the cinema-like video shared above.

According to NASA, the still images were projected onto a sphere and a virtual camera was used to animate the motion visible in the video. This provides an approximate look at what someone may have seen if they were in the spacecraft when it flew by Jupiter, according to NASA, which notes that the images are available in their raw form for anyone to download and use as they please.

NASA offers websites dedicated to citizen science and to JunoCam image processing, giving the public a chance to get involved with the space agency’s wider efforts. NASA says that it is particularly fond of image edits that involve cropping content to the relevant part and adding color enhancements, including full color reconstruction.


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