NASA’s Juno spacecraft is seeing SPOTS! NASA has revealed some of the most mesmerizing images from Jupiter’s Great Red Spot after the Juno spacecraft flew just 5,600 miles—9,000 kilometers—above Jupiter’s most recognizable feature.
The results? Never-before-seen images which tell us a lot about Jupiter and its most prominent future, a massive storm that has raged for more than 350 years on Jupiter, and is so massive that it could SWALLOW our entire planet.
Juno has been monitoring the surface of the Gas giant for over a year, and the images sent back by the spacecraft are among the most detailed ever images of Jupiter.
“We invite the public to act as a virtual imaging team…participating in key steps of the process, from identifying features of interest to sharing the finished images online. After JunoCam data arrives on Earth, members of the public can process the images to create color pictures. The public also helps determine which points on the planet will be photographed. Learn more about voting on JunoCam’s next target HERE.” NASA said as it revealed the images.
— NASA’s Juno Mission (@NASAJuno) July 12, 2017
Juno has made history as the spacecraft passed around 5600 miles above the Great Red Spot.
The data gathered by the Juno Spacecraft is part of its sixth flyby over the gas giant’s mystery clouds. At the time of Perijove—periapsis in orbit around Jupiter—NASA’s spacecraft flew only 3,500 kilometers above Jupiter’s cloud tops.
Around 12 minutes after that, Juno flew for about 40,000 kilometers and was located just above Jupiter’s most enigmatic feature, the Great Red Spot. NASA reports that during the flyby, all of Juno’s eight instruments and its ‘camera’ the JunoCam were turned on.
— Seán Doran (@_TheSeaning) July 11, 2017
The images beamed back by Juno and processed Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran—offer an unprecedented view at the Great red spot, a persistent zone of high pressure, producing an anticyclonic storm on the planet Jupiter, 22° south of the equator.
The great red spot rotates counter-clockwise and has a period of about six Earth days or fourteen Jovian days. The Great Red Spot’s dimensions are 24—40,000 kilometers west to east and 12—14,000 kilometers south to north. The Great Red Spot is large enough to fit two or three planets the size of Earth. The cloud-tops of this storm are about eight kilometers above the surrounding cloud-tops.
The Great Red Spot varies greatly in hue, from almost brick-red to pale salmon, or even white.
NASA creates these images by taking pictures of Jupiter with red, green, and blue filters and then processes them in order to obtain a full-color image.
— Seán Doran (@_TheSeaning) July 12, 2017
Juno will gather more data in the near future and will hopefully provide scientists on Earth enough material to understand through the study of Jupiter, the origin of our solar system.
Jupiter is one of the most important objects in our solar system and is the planet with the most satellites ever discovered, having 67 moons. Scientists firmly believe that due to Jupiter’s super-strong gravity, the gas giant is able to capture space objects into its orbit, which is why Jupiter may have so many moons in the first place.
Check out more breathtaking images of Jupiter HERE.