JunoCam Processing

NASA have been releasing images from the Juno probe orbiting Jupiter on a 56 day cycle. During Perijove 7, the most recent close fly by of Juno to Jupiter, the onboard JunoCam snapped the closest images of the Great Red Spot (GRS) ever recorded. NASA has made a commitment to amateur scientists to release raw images from their space probes and have called for amateur efforts to process them. Images from JunoCam came a couple of days early and I thought I'd have a go at processing them in Photoshop. Raw images are available at https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam/processing?source=junocam&obfrom=&obto=&perpage=16

This raw image captured my attention as it showed the GRS at its full extent. As you can see, the image, while pretty, is very washed out and it's hard to make out details from the storm.

This image is available as separate Red(R), Green(G), Blue(B) files, and knowing that the Juno is in fact a mono camera using colour filters, I thought this would be the best way to process it.

It's been a while since I sunk my teeth into Photoshop so it took me a while to work out how to process individual colour channels from different images. The trick is to open each of the R,G,B images into PS, select one of them, select the Channels property, and then click the small Channels menu to reveal "Merge Channels". The mode you want is "RGB Color", Channels: 3. On the next screen just select the appropriate Red, Green, Blue files.

You can now add adjustment layers and adjust for each channel. Start of with Levels and drag the left and right controls to the just before and after the histogram shows detail.

If you do this with each RGB channel you'll reveal a normalised colour of the GRS. You can now start tweaking to your heart's content to bring out the best of the Jupiter. I made levels and curve changes, then ran it through Photoshops HDR processing to enhance the edges.

A cropped image before processing:

A cropped image after processing: