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Crowd-sourced clouds: Using Citizen Science to study vortices on Jupiter

Presentation #302.04 in the session A Wet and Cloudy Jupiter.

Published onOct 20, 2022
Crowd-sourced clouds: Using Citizen Science to study vortices on Jupiter

The Juno spacecraft has been in orbit around Jupiter since 2016 and has generated a wealth of new data on the jovian atmosphere. Particularly, the public-facing JunoCam instrument has proven valuable in providing high resolution imagery of atmospheric features, demonstrating the large diversity in both small- and large-scale structures in the jovian atmosphere. Analyses of individual vortices (e.g., the Great Red Spot by Sanchez-Lavega et al. 2018) observed by JunoCam have provided great insight into the structure of the atmosphere at that location, proving that a more comprehensive study of the full diversity of features observed by JunoCam is necessary. Such studies would play a great role in interpreting the role of dynamics at depth and retrieving the deep abundances of the cloud condensates, at the planetary scale. However, owing to the large JunoCam data volume, the analysis of the diversity of jovian atmospheric features and the process of cataloging them poses a herculean task for a small group of researchers.

To that end, we have developed the Jovian Vortex Hunter project on Zooniverse to ask citizen-science volunteers to label vortices in JunoCam images. The volunteers are tasked with circling vortices, labeling their color, and identifying other features in the image (e.g., cloud bands and Folded Filamentary Regions). With this data, we generate a catalog of vortices on Jupiter, with associated size, color, location, and time, which can be used to further study their distribution and their relation to the underlying atmospheric structure. As of the writing of this abstract, volunteers on the Jovian Vortex Hunter project have done close to 500,000 classifications and have generated a wealth of data on vortices on Jupiter. In this presentation, we will showcase our preliminary results from this project, and avenues for future, detailed work focusing on specific features.

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