JunoCam onboard the Juno spacecraft is providing us with some great pictures of the Jupiter cloud top, but from the rarely seen polar angle. Pretty much all spacecrafts that have visited Jupiter did so with a fly by along the equatorial plane, which is also the same plane we observe Jupiter here on Earth. However with the Juno spacecraft, we now have a chance to enter into a polar orbit and take pictures of the polar regions.
Part of the reason behind JunoCam is to get the amateur astronomer community participating in selecting what parts of Jupiter the camera should be snapping pictures, and of processing the raw images. The image below was captured by JunoCam during Juno’s 3rd swing around Jupiter at a distance of about 37,000km. The south polar region is on the left.
The above was the PeriJove3 encounter (3rd pass), and voting on the next PeriJove4 will take place between January 19th and 23rd 2017. This is where the community can propose and vote for Points of Interest to photograph with JunoCam during the rather quick (2 hours) close pass with Juno. You can even submit images of Jupiter taken with your equipment to help plan the Points of Interest.