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A user-processed JunoCam image. Photo: NASA

NASA's Juno spacecraft, currently in orbit around the mighty gas giant Jupiter, hosts an array of sensors designed to peer under the outermost cloudtops and gather crucial data. Since Jupiter is the most massive planet orbiting the sun, its structure and ingredients are directly tied to the formation of the solar system itself. The deeper we peer into Jupiter, the further we look into our own past.

Tucked in between the spacecraft's sophisticated instruments is a relatively low-power digital camera, JunoCam, that is controlled via crowdsourced directions. People around the world suggest and vote on its next target by selecting points of interest on global images of Jupiter using NASA-provided software, and the raw images are made freely available to both researchers — who are already using the results to study the formation and evolution of smaller storms — and the public.

One fun thing: While the camera provides rare views of Jupiter's frenzied surface, it also presents an opportunity for artists of all stripes to draw inspiration from this remote world — and some of their work is simply stunning.

Paul Sutter is a cosmological researcher at Ohio State University's Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics.

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.