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Crescent Jupiter Is Covered in Storms in Gorgeous New Photo

Crescent Jupiter: New Juno View
Using data from NASA's Juno spacecraft, a citizen scientist created this photo of a half-lit Jupiter. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Roman Tkachenko)

That's no moon — it's a crescent Jupiter!

The giant gas planet is shown in stunning detail in this photo. It was created by a citizen scientist using raw image data from NASA's Juno spacecraft, which has been orbiting Jupiter since July 4, 2016.

Many prominent features of Jupiter are visible in the photo, including the famous Great Red Spot and its smaller companion, Oval BA. A series of round, white storms spans across this crescent view of Jupiter. In total, Jupiter currently has eight of these storms, which are known as the "string of pearls," NASA officials said. [See More Amazing Jupiter Photos by Citizen Scientists]

NASA has been releasing all of the image data captured by Juno's JunoCam instrument to the public, so that citizen scientists can process the photos into stunning new views.

This newly processed photo, which NASA released Friday (Jan. 13), was made by Roman Tkachenko using a JunoCam photo taken on Dec. 11, 2016, during the spacecraft's most recent close flyby of Jupiter. At the time, Juno was about 285,100 miles (458,800 kilometers) from the giant planet's cloudtops, NASA officials wrote in an image description.

Juno's current orbital path around Jupiter is highly elliptical; the probe performs such close flybys just once every 54 days.

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebookand Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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Hanneke Weitering

Hanneke Weitering is an editor at Space.com with 10 years of experience in science journalism. She has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time Hanneke likes to explore the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.