KOCHI: Science enthusiasts around the world love to process the raw images taken by The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s spacecraft on various missions. It’s a passion for many. Some of their processed works even get recognition by the US space agency. Navaneeth Krishnan, a native of Angamaly won the recognition when NASA published four images of its Jupiter Missionthat he processed.
An editor at the Kerala State Institute of Children’s Literature, Thiruvananthapuram, Navaneeth recently processed the image of the Northern Cyclones on Jupiter taken from JunoCam, the public engagement camera aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft. NASA also gave credit to Navaneeth for enhancing the colour and contrast of the image.
“NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been making rotations around Jupiter and providing raw images for years. It is the Southwest Research Institute that publishes these raw images which are further processed by various citizen scientists. Every time an image is published by NASA, scores of people from across the globe download it as part of the public engagement project and process it. This is the fourth time that NASA is publishing an image that I processed. I am extremely happy that NASA is recognising my efforts,” says Navaneeth.
The latest image he worked on a cyclone on the northernmost region of Jupiter, perched near the gas giant’s north pole, was taken on September 29, 2022. While publishing the image in December, NASA said, “Jupiter has eight circumpolar cyclones, and four are visible in this image, framing the northernmost cyclone.
A small anticyclone (which spins counterclockwise) has wedged its way in just above the northernmost cyclone. The image was acquired on Juno’s 45th pass of Jupiter from an altitude of 17,248 miles and shows features as small as 11.6 miles across. Citizen scientist Navaneeth Krishnan S processed the images to enhance the colour and contrast.”
Navaneeth has completed his PG in Physics and has always been passionate about astrophysics.
“I use Photoshop and other softwares like G’MIC-QT and GIMP to process the raw images. So far, I have processed 300 images, of which four images have been published. Processing these can contribute to more discoveries in future,” says Navaneeth.
The frst image processed by Navaneeth that got published was one of Jupiter’s South temperate belt and the Great Red Spot. The second was of Europa taken on September 29 in 2022 at an altitude of around 1,500km. An image of a storm titled ‘Oval BA’ in Jupiter was also processed by him and published by the agency.
There is no monetary aspect involved in this process in which many space enthusiasts participate. Navaneeth is also part of the Aastro Kerala Organisation along with many science enthusiasts of all ages, from children to adults.