Nasa captures STUNNING images of Jupiter's Great Red Spot

14 July, 2017, 00:37 | Author: Lorena Waters
  • PHOTOS: Jupiter's stunning Great Red Spot, seen like never before

The spot is a raging hurricane more than 2.5 times larger than Earth.

The images of the Great Red Spot were downlinked from the spacecraft's memory on Tuesday and placed on the mission's JunoCam website Wednesday morning. The storm is 10,000 miles wide. Some of those processed images highlight newfound features in Jupiter's clouds - such as relatively tiny, swirling white storms- while other images have utilized the scientific data to create gorgeous, sometimes unusual works of art. The spacecraft was only 5,600 miles above the storm, making the images the closest ever of the spot.

Before completing the latest flyby, Juno first reached perijove, which is the point when an orbit comes closest to Jupiter's centre.

"For hundreds of years, scientists have been observing, wondering and theorizing about Jupiter's Great Red Spot", Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator who's based at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, said in the statement.

Scientists hope to learn more about what drives the storm, and Dr Bolton said it would take some time to analyse the data captured by Juno's eight instruments as it passed over the tempest a height of 9,000km.

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It will fly by again on September 1.

NASA colorizes the images and also releases them to the public to edit.

Juno launched on August 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Steve Levin, the lead project scientist for the Juno mission, added: "This is a storm bigger than the entire Earth".

"These highly-anticipated images of Jupiter's Great Red Spot are the "perfect storm" of art and science".

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