A very long and brownish oval on Jupiter, known as the “Brown Barge,” appeared right in front of NASA’s Juno in the Jupiter’s South Equatorial Belt. The US space agency’s probe was quick to immortalize it in another stunning image.
A brown barge of Jupiter is a cyclonic region that commonly forms within Jupiter’s North Equatorial Belt. However, sometimes it also occurs in the planet’s South Equatorial Belt. That was the case here, too, and Juno could not overlook such an elusive phenomenon on the most massive planet in our solar system.
Usually, the so-called “brown barges” are challenging to visualize because their color blends in with the dark surroundings. Luckily, under some specific circumstances, as it was the case with the image captured by NASA’s Juno probe, the dark belt material diminish, leaving space for a light-colored background, allowing the brown barge of Jupiter to become visible.
For the first time, NASA’s Juno captured a “brown barge” of Jupiter
Brown barges usually form and then dissipate when the entire cloud belt rises and reorganizes itself. Fortunately, NASA’s Juno probe was at the right place at the right time to capture, for the first time in the history of astronomy, the elusive “brown barge” of Jupiter in the planet’s South Equatorial Belt.
Juno took the image at 6:26 PM PDT (9:26 PM EDT) on September 6th, 2018, as the famous space probe that explores Jupiter performed its 15th close flyby of the most massive gas giant in our solar system. At the time the photo was taken, NASA’s Juno probe was only 7,425 miles or about 12,000 kilometers from the planet’s cloud tops, just at 22 degrees above the southern latitude.
The original image, however, is nothing like the one NASA released (which you can see at the beginning of this article). The picture available above was rotated 90 degrees to the right and enhanced by the citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill to reveal a colorful representation of a “brown barge” of Jupiter.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.