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Jovian Vortex Hunters are Needed

jovian clouds 

This image is a mosaic from the 22nd perijove (the point in the orbit of a satellite of Jupiter nearest the planet's center) showing the diversity of vortices in the northern mid-latitude region. There are many different shapes, sizes and colors for vortices on Jupiter, and understanding how each one forms can give us an insight both into the processes that form them and the structure of the underlying atmosphere. First, however, we need to identify and catalogue the different classes of vortices and that is the goal of the Jovian Vortex Hunter project.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SwRI/Ramanakumar Sankar

The public is invited to help study stunning images of Jupiter from NASA’s JunoCam instrument onboard the Juno spacecraft.

A new NASA citizen science project, Jovian Vortex Hunter, seeks your help spotting vortices – spiral wind patterns — and other phenomena in gorgeous photos of the planet Jupiter.

PSI Senior Scientist Candy Hansen is Juno Co-Investigator responsible for the JunoCam investigation and a member of the Jovian Vortex Hunter science team.

JunoCam has completed more than 40 orbits around Jupiter, and has collected about 60,000 images. NASA needs your help to identify which images have vortices, where they are and how they appear. With the catalogue of features (particularly vortices) in place, scientists can study the physics behind how these features form, and how they are related to the structure of the atmosphere, particularly below the clouds, where we cannot directly observe them.

“We are very excited about the launch of the Jovian Vortex Hunter on the zooniverse platform. This is an opportunity to involve the public in the scientific analysis of JunoCam images,” Hansen said. “Up until now we've relied on the public for help with planning and processing the images. With this new task we will be enlisting a cadre of citizen scientists to help us with scientific analysis: identification of storms on Jupiter. Knowing where storms are, how large they are, and which way they are rotating will give us insight into the dynamics of Jupiter's atmosphere.”

To participate with this team, go to the Jovian Vortex Hunter website. Or follow the project on Twitter at

jupiter vortex

A vortex on Jupiter: A mesmerizing cyclone can be seen in an area on Jupiter dubbed its "north north north temperate belt,” or NNNTB. The processed image was created from JunoCam data collected in November 2019 during Juno's 23rd Jovian flyby.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill.

July 17, 2022
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