No, that's not a famous painting by Van Gogh, it's actually a photograph of Jupiter taken by NASA's Juno spacecraft.
In what might be one of the most mind-blowing photos ever taken in our solar system, NASA’s Juno spacecraft has captured a view of Jupiter that makes it look like a work of impressionist art. It’s a photo of the Jovian clouds in amazing shades of blue that was snapped back on Oct. 24 when Juno was just 11,747 miles from the cloudtops of Jupiter, or about the same distance as New York City from the western coast of Australia.
It certainly has all the appearance of an oil painting, but it’s Jupiter’s natural beauty on display, as its turbulent atmosphere swirls in a toxic stew that nothing living could survive in. Scientists have been closely studying the gas giant ever since it arrived last year.
It was the ninth flyby for Juno, and in this case, the spacecraft, Jupiter, and the sun were lined up at the perfect spot to allow this photo to be taken. NASA will continue to study the mysteries of Jupiter with Juno, hopefully enhancing our understanding of this massive planet, about our solar system, and about the universe itself.
“The Juno spacecraft captured this image when the spacecraft was only 11,747 miles (18,906 kilometers) from the tops of Jupiter’s clouds — that’s roughly as far as the distance between New York City and Perth, Australia,” NASA said in a statement. “The color-enhanced image, which captures a cloud system in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere, was taken on Oct. 24, 2017 at 10:24 a.m. PDT (1:24 p.m. EDT) when Juno was at a latitude of 57.57 degrees (nearly three-fifths of the way from Jupiter’s equator to its north pole) and performing its ninth close flyby of the gas giant planet. The spatial scale in this image is 7.75 miles/pixel (12.5 kilometers/pixel).”