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Stunning Amateur Timelapse of Jupiter ‘Re-enacts’ Voyager Flyby

Back in the 1970’s when NASA launched the two Voyager spacecraft to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, I remember being mesmerized by a movie created from Voyager 1 images of the movement of the clouds in Jupiter’s atmosphere. Voyager 1 began taking pictures of Jupiter as it approached the planet in January 1979 and completed its Jupiter encounter in early April. During that time it took almost 19,000 pictures and many other scientific measurements to create the short movie, which you can see below, showing the intricate movement of the bright band of clouds for the first time.

Now, 35 years later a group of seven Swedish amateur astronomers achieved their goal of replicating the Voyager 1 footage, not with another flyby but with images taken with their own ground-based telescopes.

This animated gif shows Voyager 1's approach to Jupiter during a period of over 60 Jupiter days in 1979.  Credit: NASA.

This animated gif shows Voyager 1’s approach to Jupiter during a period of over 60 Jupiter days in 1979. Credit: NASA.

“We started this joint project back in December of 2013 to redo the NASA Voyager 1 flyby of Jupiter,” amatuer astronomer Göran Strand told Universe Today. “During 90 days we captured 560 still images of Jupiter and turned them into 90 complete maps that covered the whole of Jupiter’s surface.”

Their newly released film, above details the work they did and the hurdles they overcame (including incredibly bad weather in Sweden this winter) to make their dream a reality. They called their project “Voyager 3.”

Animated gif of the 'Voyager 3' team re-enactment of the Voyager 1 flyby. Credit: Voyager 3 team, via Kristoffer Åberg.

Animated gif of the ‘Voyager 3′ team re-enactment of the Voyager 1 flyby. Credit: Voyager 3 team, via Kristoffer Åberg.

It is really an astonishing project and those of you who do image processing will appreciate the info in the video about the tools they used and how they did their processing to create this video.

The seven Swedish astronomers who participated in the Voyager 3 project are (from left to right in the photo below) Daniel Sundström, Torbjörn Holmqvist, Peter Rosén (the project initiator), Göran Strand, Johan Warell and his daughter Noomi, Martin Högberg and Roger Utas.

The Swedish team of amateur astronomers who compiled the 'Voyager 3' project. Image courtesy Peter Rosén.

The Swedish team of amateur astronomers who compiled the ‘Voyager 3′ project. Image courtesy Peter Rosén.

Congrats to the team of Voyager 3!

You can read more about the Voyagers visits to Jupiter here from NASA.

Voyager3Movie from Peter Rosén on Vimeo.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • 100IT June 18, 2014, 7:28 AM

    Amateur you say? Great stuff! congratulations.

  • Olaf June 18, 2014, 3:58 PM

    A wonderful contribution to science.

  • rneumair June 24, 2014, 6:43 AM

    This work is stunning.

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