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Juno pictures put Jupiter fans in 11th heaven

Juno picture of Jupiter
NASA’s Juno probe captured this picture of Jupiter’s swirling storms during a close pass on Feb. 7. (NASA / JPL / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstadt Photo)

NASA’s Juno orbiter has sent back its 11th crop of close-ups from Jupiter, and that means it’s time for another eye-opening, jaw-dropping photo album created by citizen scientists.

Juno flew as close as 2,100 miles above the planet’s cloud tops on Feb. 7 for what’s known as Perijove 11, at the completion of its 10th science orbit.

NASA says this close encounter was a gravity science orientation pass, which means Juno could point its transmitters directly at Earth to downlink data in real time to the Deep Space Network’s radio antenna installation in Goldstone, Calif.

Juno’s primary mission is to study Jupiter’s gravitational and magnetic fields, and get a better sense of the planet’s internal composition. But the spacecraft also has an imaging device known as JunoCam that’s taking pictures primarily for public consumption and science outreach.

Some photo processing mavens have gotten wickedly good at taking NASA’s raw images and making them pop. So, without further ado, check out the latest gems from Jupiter.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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