Jupiter Red Spot Storm Pictures: NASA's Juno Spacecraft Sends Back Photos

A close-up image shows Jupiter's Great Red Spot as Juno approaches the planet

Nasa's Juno probe passed just 5,600 miles (9,000) kilometres above the massive storm system which is wider than the Earth and may have been raging for more than 350 years.

Juno launched on August 5 in 2011.

Now those image processors are turning their attention to the new photos of the Great Red Spot. As Jupiter is a gas giant (a planet comprised of hydrogen and helium, with a core made up of rock and ice), such storms are not uncommon. The big red spot seems to cause pockets of turbulence in other bands of Jupiter's atmosphere as they pass by the behemoth, though scientists are no closer to knowing how the storm maintains its energy and cohesion. "The orbiting spacecraft will skim several thousand miles over the Great Red Spot, using instruments that let scientists peer beneath the cloud tops".

Some of the most valuable data from Monday's flyby is expected to come from an instrument created to peer into the red spot at six different depths, Levin said. The Great Red Spot is continuously observed since about 1830. And its most recognizable trademark is its Great Red Spot, which is actually a heat storm of cataclysmic proportions.

In the meantime, enjoy the latest batch of images provided by Juno, and the savvy photo editors who turned the craft's raw image data into stunning pictures.

Early science results from NASA's Juno mission portray the largest planet in our solar system as a turbulent world, with an intriguingly complex interior structure, energetic polar aurora, and huge polar cyclones.

Some image experts have already begun processing Juno's images for a detailed look into the spot.

Nasa said the fly-by of the Juno spacecraft, surveying the 16,000km-wide storm, had been scheduled at 9.55pm on Monday (9.55am yesterday Singapore time). "We will compare how Jupiter looks underneath its cloud tops at different latitudes with the part where you go right over the Great Red Spot and see if it looks any different". Let us know in the comment section below.



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