Friday, 21 July, 2017

NASA probe skims Jupiter's Great Red Spot

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is 1.3 times as wide as Earth Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is 1.3 times as wide as Earth
Heather Davidson | 13 July, 2017, 00:31

Launched Aug. 5, 2011, the solar-powered Juno picked up a gravitational boost during a close flyby of Earth in October 2013, putting the craft on a trajectory to intersect Jupiter.

NASA has revealed new images of Jupiter's most iconic and mysterious feature - its Great Red Spot.

The Great Red Spot has more than just good looks going for it.

That is, of course, Jupiter's Great Red Spot, an anticyclone that's been swirling for hundreds of years, stuck between two of the planets jet stream bands. During its mission of exploration, Juno soars low over the planet's cloud tops - as close as about 2,100 miles (3,400 kilometers).

NASA has sent seven probes to take pictures and study Jupiter, but Juno is the closest.

Jupiter is hands down the biggest planet in our Solar System, which also gained it its name.

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This illustration depicts NASA's Juno spacecraft in orbit above Jupiter's Great Red Spot. It's taken the data a few days to get back to Juno's Earthbound science team, but the images are finally here.

And if you're the kind of space nerd that dreams about being completely enveloped by a bona fide space storm, it's possible: The Great Red Spot is big enough to fit Earth inside and then some.

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

The Juno mission reached Jupiter on July 5th, 2016, becoming the second probe in history to establish orbit around the planet.

One point of interest is the effect the storm has on the atmospheric temperature. Now, people can see the closest ever view of the massive storm for themselves.

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). Let us know in the comment section below.

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