Flight over Jupiter (2)

2020-06-01 01:55 UT
Credit : NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / Björn Jónsson © cc nc sa
Submitted By : Bjorn_Jonsson
Mission Phase : PERIJOVE 26
Source Image(s) : JNCE_2020101_26M00025_V01

An experimental and somewhat speculative animation showing a flight over Jupiter's clouds based on data from JunoCam obtained on April 10, 2020. It was created by using methane filter image PJ26_25 to construct a digital elevation model (DEM) of Jupiter's clouds (in this case really a heightfield on a spheroid). An enhanced mosaic of images PJ26_24 and PJ26_26 was then draped over the DEM.

It is assumed that the cloud altitudes are a linear function of brightness in the methane image. This assumption is not accurate but is nevertheless good enough to result in a nice DEM. It should also be mentioned that images obtained with JunoCam's methane filter do not penetrate very deeply into the atmosphere. Because of this, parts of the lowest areas in the DEM might lie deeper in the atmosphere than shown here. Vertical elevation differences are greatly exaggerated, probably at least by a factor 5 and possibly more than 10.

As expected, in general bright clouds are higher in the atmosphere than darker clouds. An interesting feature is the many 'walls' of bright clouds, some of which encircle circular or elliptical spots/vortices. Some of the 'walls' have an orange tint. It is possible that this orange color really is due to a high altitude orange haze and that the 'walls' themselves are white.

The resolution and quality of both the DEM and the color data varies and is much lower towards the end of the animation than it is earlier. It is also relatively low for about 10 seconds shortly after the start of the animation.