NASA is asking for help analyzing the phenomenal photos taken of Jupiter by the Juno spacecraft.
Juno launched in August 2011 and made the 1,740-million-mile journey in only five years. Nine years later, Juno has taken thousands of pictures of the largest planet in our solar system and will continue to study the planet and its moons through September 2025 or the spacecraft’s end of life.
The Jovian Vortex Hunter is one of NASA’s citizen science projects where anyone can help find vortices, which are spiral wind patterns, in photos taken by a spacecraft. The vortices are formed in a similar way to hurricanes on Earth except these storms can be 30 miles high and several hundred miles across.
“There are so many images that it would take several years for our small team to examine all of them,” said Dr. Ramanakumar Sankar, who leads the project. “We need help from the public to identify which images have vortices, where they are, and how they appear.”
Helpers look at a photo from Junocam and determine if there is a vortex. If there is, they then circle it. Examining these images will help scientists understand the fluid dynamics, cloud chemistry and atmosphere on Jupiter.
Jovian Vortex Hunters are in the process of examining pictures taken in early 2019.
The project, hosted on Zooniverse, allows anyone to help with real research being conducted by teams across the world on a variety of subjects.
Those who would like to help with the image processing for Junocam can do so by visiting the project’s website. From there, helpers can download images to realistically enhance or turn into works of art.