Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Captured by Juno

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Recently Juno spacecraft captured the images of planet jupiter. Images of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot reveal a tangle of dark, veinous clouds weaving their way through a massive crimson oval.

The JunoCam imager aboard NASA’s Juno mission snapped pics of the most iconic feature of the solar system’s largest planetary inhabitant during its Monday (July 10) flyby.

Measuring in at 10,159 miles (16,350 kilometers) in width (as of April 3, 2017) Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is 1.3 times as wide as Earth. The storm has been monitored since 1830 and has possibly existed for more than 350 years. In modern times, the Great Red Spot has appeared to be shrinking.

Juno reached perijove (the point at which an orbit comes closest to Jupiter’s center) on July 10. At the time of perijove, Juno was about 2,200 miles (3,500 kilometers) above the planet’s cloud tops.

Juno is a NASA space probe orbiting the planet Jupiter. It was built by Lockheed Martin and is operated by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 5, 2011 (UTC), as part of the New Frontiers program, and entered a polar orbit of Jupiter on July 5, 2016 (UTC), to begin a scientific investigation of the planet.

After completing its mission, Juno will be intentionally deorbited into Jupiter’s atmosphere.

Juno’s mission is to measure Jupiter’s composition, gravity field, magnetic field, and polar magnetosphere. It will also search for clues about how the planet formed, including whether it has a rocky core, the amount of water present within the deep atmosphere, mass distribution, and its deep winds, which can reach speeds of 618 kilometers per hour (384 mph).

Juno is the second spacecraft to orbit Jupiter, after the nuclear powered Galileo orbiter, which orbited from 1995 to 2003.

Unlike all earlier spacecraft to the outer planets, Juno is powered only by solar arrays, commonly used by satellites orbiting Earth and working in the inner Solar System, whereas radioisotope thermoelectric generators are commonly used for missions to the outer Solar System and beyond.

For Juno, however, the three largest solar array wings ever deployed on a planetary probe play an integral role in stabilizing the spacecraft as well as generating power.

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