Jovian Vortex Hunter

Are you enchanted by the mysterious swirls and eddies in Jupiter’s atmosphere? These patterns, called “vortices” can teach us about what Jupiter’s atmosphere is made of. Indulge your fascination by joining the Jovian Vortex Hunter project, and help scientists understand this gas giant planet! The project examines cloud formations on Jupiter — their shapes, colors, sizes, and distribution from the Jovian equator to its poles. You’ll view the latest images from NASA’s Juno mission and catalog storms bigger than the entire Earth.

Learn More

ages

18 and up

division

Solar System

where

Online

launched

2022

What you'll do

  • Examine images of Jupiter’s clouds and mark and map the vortices that you see.
  • Uncover the patterns of vortices in Jupiter’s atmosphere to reveal the underlying dynamics.
  • Share and discuss what you are seeing with other project participants and the science team in the project’s Talk forums.

Requirements

  • Time to get started: 5-15 minutes to complete the tutorial
  • Equipment: Web-connected computer or phone.
  • Knowledge: None. The in-project tutorial provides all the instruction you’ll need.

Get started!

  1. Visit the project website
  2. Click “Classify” and complete the tutorial to learn how to identify, classify, and or circle vortices in images.  
  3. Start your exploration of the swirling gas clouds of Jupiter!

Learn More

Keep up to date with the project’s progress by reading the Jovian Vortex Hunter blog. You can also learn about JuDE, a new tool for exploring what lies around the vortices you see in the Jovian Vortex Hunter’s workflow.

Want to do more with the science and beauty of Jupiter’s gaseous cloudy surface? Check out JunoCam!

And finally, follow the project on X @jvnvortexhunter

Big swirls, little swirls, spots, and streams of clouds swirl across this image of the gaseous atmosphere of Jupiter. The top of image is mostly blues and whites, the middle third has smaller, tighter curls and occasional spots in tans, whites, and blues. The bottom edge is dominated by a brownish, snaky line of clouds.
Jupiter’s clouds are made of chemicals other than water, and can be several thousand kilometers in size. Some clouds are also created from powerful storms that are over 50 kilometers/30 miles in height and hundreds of kilometers across.
White swirls of cloud play across this mostly blue image. A prominent swirl of white in the middle surrounds a darker blue spot. This is a dark vortex. A second spot of the same dark blue is above and left. The image also contains a red vortex in the lower right corner, and two white vortices. The larger of the white vortices is in the lower left corner, mostly out of the frame, with a pale green tinge. The smaller is in the lower right, adjacent to the trailing clouds of the dark vortex in the middle of the image.
This image shows two examples of what are called “dark vortices” (each one is a “dark vortex”). At Jovian Vortex Hunter, you’ll search for these dark vortices and other intriguing phenomena, like “brown barges,” that scientists do not yet understand.
Credit: Jovian Vortex Hunter project
In an image of smokey tans and hazy blues, we see three distinct oval shapes, each outlined with a computer-drawn colored line. The two orange-tan spots, one just above the middle on the left side, and the other in the middle of the left edge of the image, are outlined in red. The light-colored spot in the upper right corner is outlined in white.
In this image from the Juno mission, three vortices are outlined in color-coded ellipses appropriate to the color of the vortex. Two are classified as red, though their color is more of a soft orange. The third is a white vortex.
Credit: Jovian Vortex Hunter project
Portrait photo of a smiling man

Ramana Sankar

Postdoc Researcher

Portrait photo of a man

Shawn Brueshaber

Researcher

Portrait photo of a smiling woman

Candice Hansen-Koharcheck

Researcher

Photo of a man standing on a launchpad with a shuttle in the background

Glenn Orton

Researcher

Chris Lintott

Zooniverse Team

Kameswara Mantha

Zooniverse Team

Lucy Fortson

Zooniverse Team