Latest NASA Juno Images Show Jupiter's Stripes of Multicolored Gas in Extraordinary Detail

NASA Jupiter
Stunning new image of Jupiter reveals an in-depth look at its gassy stripes. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

Some things are so beautiful that it's hard to believe they're real, like these new images of Jupiter released by NASA. The space agency released two new photos of Jupiter, and they're, well, out of this world.

Related: Stunning New NASA Cassini Image Reveals Moon of Saturn to be Shockingly Earth-Like

The first, which debuted on January 12, shows stunning, vibrant cloud belts swirling on Jupiter's southern region. You can see the intricate details of the wispy white, yellow, red and brown clouds. The images capture beautiful swirls of orange and brown intersecting with the white, which are as tantalizing as the swirls of milk in your coffee. The dark region on the far left, of course, is not coffee, but the South Temperate Belt, and is intersected by clouds, not milk.

Jupiter is made up of hydrogen and helium gases, and is often called the giant gas planet, according to NASA.

The image was taken by NASA's Juno spacecraft on Dec. 16, 2017 at roughly 1 p.m. EST. It was Juno's tenth up-close flyby of the planet and was captured while the craft was 8,453 miles from the clouds, the agency reported

The second image highlights Jupiter's very distinct bands of gas. The photograph depicts the planet's southern polar area and was also taken on Dec. 16. Also encompassed in the planet's southern region is an aurora, though it can't be seen here. In October 2017, a report published in Science revealed that Jupiter's southern polar area was home to an aurora, which was not previously known.

A photo of Jupiter taken on Dec. 16, 2017 makes the planet seem small, but don't be fooled as its the largest planet in the solar system. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstadt

As NASA points out in their blog post about the photo, the dark empty void above and below Jupiter makes it seem as though the solar system's largest planet isn't all that impressive in size. However Jupiter is large enough to house Earth 11 times over across its vast width.

Juno launched in August 2011 to help further our understanding of Jupiter, including its atmospheric conditions and magnetic gravity fields. Even more importantly, discoveries made from the project help provide more knowledge about the way large planets form and their role in the solar system. The project will continue to run until it reaches 12 orbits in July 2018. After, the mission could be extended to provide further knowledge, not to mention incredible photos, of the planet.