A Sidney photo gallery is offering locals a close, artistic look at largest planet in our solar system.
Stirring Imaginations, a collection of citizen-processed photos from NASA’s Juno Probe of Jupiter, is showing at the New Photographers Gallery until Feb. 20.
“We just had the Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction and people are interested,” said Al Kohut, gallery owner. “We had the president of the [Royal Canadian Astronomical Society of Canada] Chris Gainor come in to see the show. “
The show opened on Jan. 2, just days after Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, and Saturn, the second largest, appeared to pass each other. While this conjunction roughly happens once every 20 years, the 2020 conjunction was the closest in about 400 years.
The show features images of Jupiter’s complex hydrogen and helium cloud systems, according to the official description, including the planet’s famed Great Red Spot, the largest atmospheric storm in the solar system with wind speeds in excess of 400 kilometres per hour and twice as wide as Earth.
NASA had launched the Juno spacecraft in 2011 on its mission to Jupiter, where it arrived after a journey of five years.
The images, some of them invoking Earth’s blue atmosphere, are also examples of ordinary citizens interacting with larger scientific institutions to popularize scientific findings.
Kohut said NASA made the raw images of the probe available to the public for processing because NASA wanted to get more publicity for its mission in the face of funding cut backs in recent years.
Victoria photographer Peter Ramos, known for his portfolio of scenes from the Tofino area, then started to print the images. “He said, ‘do you want to see what I have been doing?’ I saw it and said, ‘wow, these are just amazing.’ So I decided to have a show.”
The raw images from the probe are available at missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam/processing.
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