Juno Spacecraft Took an Unusual Image of Jupiter's Great Red Spot

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Took an Unusual Image of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

NASA Juno spacecraft captured this extraordinary image. As NASA described “extraordinary view” was captured during Juno’s 12 close flyby of the gas giant. It was snapped on April 1, with the spacecraft coming as close as 17,329 kilometers (10,768 miles) to the planet during the flyby.

This image was created by the scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager. The view is a composite of several separate JunoCam images that were re-projected, blended, and healed.

“This new perspective of Jupiter from the south makes the Great Red Spot appear as though it is in northern territory,” said NASA. “This view is unique to Juno and demonstrates how different our view is when we step off the Earth and experience the true nature of our three-dimensional universe.”

The Juno spacecraft is continuing its mission at Jupiter, with its main mission set to end in July 2018. The mission may well be extended for another few years or so, though, budget permitting.

Juno planetary scientist Glenn Orton said “In truth, the Great Red Spot has been shrinking for a long time, now it’s something like 13 degrees wide in longitude and only 1.3 times the size of the Earth. Nothing lasts forever. The Great Red Spot will in a decade or two become the Great Red Circle. Maybe sometime after that the Great Red Memory.”

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. Juno’s mission is to measure Jupiter’s composition, gravity field, magnetic field, and polar magnetosphere. It is the second spacecraft to orbit Jupiter, after the nuclear powered Galileo orbiter, which orbited from 1995 to 2003. Unlike all earlier spacecraft sent to the outer planets, Juno is powered by solar arrays, whereas radioisotope thermoelectric generators are commonly used for missions to the outer Solar System and beyond.

extraordinary view was captured during Juno’s 12 close flyby
extraordinary view was captured during Juno’s 12 close flyby

 

Source: NASA