Although Earth may be the only planet in the solar system that we currently know harbors life (Enceladus, a moon, may be teeming, stay tuned), the blue marble has to share the title of astonishingly beautiful with other wandering brethren. Each planet has its own type of whoa based on its distance from the Sun, its mass, and numerous other factors, giving it a unique color palette and stunning surface features.
But no planet makes our jaws drop harder than Jupiter. It's the gas giant that has that "magical" swirly face, and a centuries-old double-Earth-sized storm on its surface, which is basically one giant beauty mark.
Thanks to NASA's Juno spacecraft, a space probe launched in 2011 that is currently orbiting Jupiter, we've received a new batch of photographs of the sublime ball of hydrogen and helium. They reveal a brilliant Jovian vista. And yes, while you may have seen previous photographs of the titanic planet beamed back from Juno, like these close-ups of the Great Red Spot, you can never have enough Jovian eye candy.
Here's a short video that molds several of Juno's photographs into one complete sphere; a little taste of Jupiter in 3D.
Both the picture and the video are the work of citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran, who assembled and colorized the pictures and video based on the raw images beamed back from Juno, which is roughly 588 million kilometers away from Earth (when the two planets are closest to each other). The fact that these images are stitched together and colorized by citizen scientists shows the important role they play in delivering to us the sublime beauty of our own planetary neighbors.
Plus, every once in a while, somebody makes something totally psychedelic, like this Jupiter DeepDream art made by artist Mik Petter.
What do you think about the images and videos pouring in from Juno? Is Jupiter the most stunning planet aside from our own piebald beauty? Give us your thoughts in the comments below!
Images: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt /Seán Dora