The first ever close-up images of Jupiter's gargantuan hurricane, the Great Red Spot, have been revealed from National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Juno spacecraft after it completed its historic flyby a few days ago.
The pictures reveal a tangle of dark, veinous clouds weaving their way through a massive crimson oval. The JunoCam imager aboard NASA's Juno mission snapped pictures of the most iconic feature of the solar system’s largest planetary inhabitant during its Monday (10 July) flyby.
“For hundreds of years, scientists have been observing, wondering and theorizing about Jupiter’s Great Red Spot,” said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “Now we have the best pictures ever of this iconic storm. It will take us some time to analyze all the data from not only JunoCam, but Juno’s eight science instruments, to shed some new light on the past, present and future of the Great Red Spot.”
Measuring in at 10,159 miles (16,350 kilometres) in width (as of 3 April 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 launched on 5 August 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. During its mission of exploration, Juno soars low over the planet's cloud tops – as close as about 2,100mi (3,400km). During these flybys, Juno is probing beneath the obscuring cloud cover of Jupiter and studying its auroras to learn more about the planet's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.
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.
Juno's next close flyby of Jupiter will occur on 1 September.
With Inputs From ANI.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.