Mind-Bending New Images of Jupiter From Juno's Latest Flyby

NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstädt / Seán Doran // CC NC SA
NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstädt / Seán Doran // CC NC SA

NASA’s Juno spacecraft left Earth in August 2011, and has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016, completing its eighth close flyby in late October. While flying beneath the dense cloud cover that obscures the solar system’s largest planet, it captured some incredible close-up views of the gas giant, as Newsweek reports.

With the JunoCam community, the public can alert NASA to points of interest and help direct the Juno mission. Citizen scientists have processed the raw, black-and-white images Juno beams back to Earth to highlight particular atmospheric features, collage multiple images, and enhance colors, releasing the edited color images before the space agency has a chance to. A whole new batch just emerged from the latest flyby, and they're well worth a look. Take a peek at a few below, and see more at the JunoCam website.

NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Shawn Handran // Public Domain

NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Shawn Handran // Public Domain

NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstädt / Seán Doran // CC NC SA

NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstädt / Seán Doran // CC NC SA

[h/t Newsweek]

10 Holiday Gifts Worth Splurging On

Amazon
Amazon

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The holidays will be here before you know it—and it’s never too early to start gift shopping. Whether you’re browsing for yourself (you deserve it!), a friend, or a family member, there are plenty of splurge-worthy gifts on the market. We scoured the internet (you’re welcome) for everything from luxury candles to innovative hair tools to indoor herb gardens and tracked down 10 of the best holiday gifts money can buy.

1. Dyson Airwrap Complete Hair Styler; $500

Amazon

Your giftee will save money on a trip to the salon and be able to treat themselves to a professional blowout right in their own home using the Dyson Airwrap. The ultra-versatile tool can dry, curl, wave, and smooth strands—all without extreme heat. Even better? No blowdryer is required: The Dyson Airwrap dries and styles hair simultaneously.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine with Aeroccino; $237

Amazon

They'll kick their coffee-buying habit to the curb once and for all with this state-of-the-art Nespresso machine, which boasts over 4200 rave reviews on Amazon. Not only does it brew espresso and coffee at the touch of a button in under 20 seconds, but it also comes complete with 12 complimentary Nespresso capsules.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Revolution Cooking High-Speed Smart Toaster; $300

Amazon

Calling all foodies: Prepare to geek out over this high-tech, touchscreen toaster. It also features a custom toasting algorithm (yes, that’s apparently a thing) to ensure that pastries, toast, bagels, and English muffins are crisped to perfection every single time. Plus, with five food settings, three toasting modes, and seven browning levels, the user will never have to endure burnt bread again.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Cuisinart Cast Iron 7-Quart Dutch Oven; $130

Amazon

Cuisinart's Dutch oven is a timeless staple (and it even comes with a lifetime warranty). Whether they're an amateur or professional chef, your giftee will appreciate this versatile cookware: it marinates, braises, bakes, or cooks. Choose from over a dozen colors, from peony pink to matte navy.

Buy it: Amazon

5. AeroGarden Harvest Indoor Hydroponic Garden; $100

Amazon

No green thumb, no problem. This indoor hydroponic garden from AeroGarden makes it easy for anyone to grow fresh herbs. The set includes several types of seeds (parsley, dill, thyme, mint, and two varieties of basil), along with all-natural plant nutrients. Plus, no soil = no mess = no cleanup.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Razorri Electric Pasta and Ramen Noodle Maker; $200

Amazon

Spaghetti, fettuccine, macaroni, ramen: The pastabilities are limitless with this electric pasta maker. Not only is it incredibly easy to use (just add flour, start the kneading function, and then add liquid), but it also makes up to three servings of pasta in under 10 minutes. Once the noodles are complete, cook them in boiling water for one-and-a-half to two minutes, and dig in!

Buy it: Amazon

7. Orolay Thickened Down Jacket; $140-$160

Amazon

With over 11,500 Amazon reviews, this sleek and stylish down jacket makes the ideal addition to their winter wardrobe. It’s ultra-soft and features a fleece-lined hood, knit cuffs, and six (!) roomy pockets to hold all of their essentials. Choose from 13 colors and 10 sizes.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Cuddle Dreams Premium Cashmere Throw Blanket; $190

Amazon

Not only is this uber-luxe cashmere throw incredibly soft, but it’s also extremely durable and guaranteed to last for years. Its buttery-soft texture features a blend of 75 percent cashmere and 25 percent merino wool, and it makes a stylish accent to any living room, den, or bedroom. Multiple colors are available.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Bartesian Premium Cocktail and Margarita Machine; $350

Amazon

This handy cocktail machine lets users enjoy all of their favorite drinks (think margaritas, whiskey sours, old-fashioneds, and cosmopolitans) with the push of a single button. They just add the alcohol of their choice, and they’re good to go! Bonus: The machine is dishwasher-safe, which makes for easy cleanup.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Voluspa Gilt Pomander 16-ounce Candle; $52

Amazon

This eye-catching 16-ounce scented candle from Voluspa features notes of spiced pomander, cardamom, and Japanese hinoki. (It’s also free of parabens and sulfates.) It will look equally impressive on a dining room table, bathroom vanity, a shelf in the living room, or front and center in the bedroom.

Buy it: Amazon

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How Do Astronauts Vote From Space?

Astronaut Kate Rubins casts her ballot from space.
Astronaut Kate Rubins casts her ballot from space.
NASA

Earlier this week, NASA announced that astronaut Kate Rubins had officially cast her vote from a makeshift voting booth aboard the International Space Station. As much as we’d like to believe her ballot came back to Earth in a tiny rocket, the actual transmission was much more mundane. Basically, it got sent to her county clerk as a PDF.

As NASA explains, voting from space begins the same way as voting abroad. Astronauts, like military members and other American citizens living overseas, must first submit a Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) to request an absentee ballot. Once approved, they can blast off knowing that their ballot will soon follow.

After the astronaut’s county clerk completes a practice round with folks at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, they can start the real voting process. The astronaut will then receive two electronic documents: a password-protected ballot sent by the Space Center’s mission control center, and an email with the password sent by the county clerk. The astronaut then “downlinks” (sends via satellite signal) their filled-out ballot back to the Space Center attendants, who forward it to the county clerk. Since the clerk needs a password to open the ballot, they’re the only other person who sees the astronaut’s responses. Then, as NPR reports, they copy the votes onto a regular paper ballot and submit it with the rest of them.

Though Americans have been visiting space for more than half a century, the early jaunts weren’t long enough to necessitate setting up a voting system from orbit. That changed in 1996, when John Blaha missed out on voting in the general election because his spaceflight to Russia’s space station Mir began in September—before absentee voters received their ballots—and he didn’t return until January 1997. So, as The Washington Post reports, NASA officials collaborated with Texas government officials to pass a law allowing astronauts to cast their ballots from space. In the fall of 1997, David Wolf became the first astronaut to submit his vote from a space station. The law is specific to Texas because most active astronauts reside there, but NASA has said that the process can be done from other states if need be.