News Worms
News Worms


First close-ups of Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Juno flyby

First close-ups of Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Juno flyby

In raw images released Wednesday by the Juno science team, details of the 16,000km-wide Great Red Spot have become more apparent.

NASA's Juno spacecraft passed over Jupiter's Great Red Spot on July 10, giving us our first "up-close and personal view" of the 10,000-mile-wide storm.

Juno launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on August 5, 2011, and arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016. As per the modern belief, this spot appears to be shrinking.

Researchers believe the storm is driven by thermal energy transfer from the planet's magnetic field into the atmosphere, creating a layer of cooling in the thermosphere.

Juno reached perijove on Monday at 9:55pm ET, and at the time the spacecraft was just 3,500km above the planet's upper clouds.

NASA has sent seven probes to take pictures and study Jupiter, but Juno is the closest. Juno would end up about 5,600 miles above the Great Red Spot's clouds about twelve minutes later. It was the closest any human-built object has come to the biggest storm in our solar system. In the image above (his own work), we see a cropped version of the original JunoCam image in order to put Jupiter's Great Red Spot center-frame.

During the flyby, all of Juno's science instruments and the spacecraft's JunoCam were operating, collecting data that are now being returned to Earth. It is one of the most iconic features of the entire solar system, and the huge storm is so large that two or three full Earths could fit inside it. It is noticeably a deep, red orb that is surrounded by layers of different colors of pale yellow, orange and white. And earlier this week, NASA's Juno spacecraft dipped 2,200 miles above the turbulence to get a closer look at what's going on. Juno flew over the cloud tops of the gas giant at 9:55 pm EDT (7:25 am IST). Do not forget to share your creations with us in the comments!

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