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

Another NASA citizen science project, called Junocam, seeks help from members of the public processing images from NASA’s Juno Mission and choosing targets for the spacecraft. However, the new Jovian Vortex Hunter project provides images that have already been processed by the science team, making it quick and easy for anyone to lend a hand. Categorizing the images will help scientists understand the fluid dynamics and cloud chemistry on Jupiter, which create dazzling features like bands, spots and “brown barges.”

In this image from 2019, citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill created this image using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager. This stunningly detailed look at a cyclonic storm in Jupiter’s atmosphere was taken during its 23rd close flyby of the planet (also referred to as “perijove 23”). Juno observed this vortex in a region of Jupiter called the “north north north north temperate belt,” or NNNNTB, one of the gas giant planet’s many persistent cloud bands. These bands are formed by the prevailing winds at different latitudes. The vortex seen here is roughly 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) wide.

Jovian Vortex Hunter

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill Larger image