Scientists are floored by NASA’s new photos of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot — here’s what they see in the images


jupiter great red spot juno perijove 7 nasa jpl swri msss sean doran flickr

NASA’s $1 billion Juno probe beamed back its latest photos of Jupiter on Wednesday, and the images are stunning.

The eye-popping new pictures feature the closest-ever views of the Great Red Spot (pictured above), a mega-storm about as wide as two Earths.

While the public is having a field day processing the probe’s raw JunoCam data into colorful imagery, scientists are amazed by the unprecedented level of detail.

"I’m counting the times [I’ve picked] up my jaw in the last couple of days," Glenn Orton, a lead Juno team member and a planetary scientist at NASA JPL, told Business Insider.

Here are a few things Orton and his colleagues have noticed in the images so far.

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On Monday, Juno — a robot the size of a tennis court — flew about 5,600 miles above Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, which is closer than any spacecraft before it.

This was Juno’s seventh pass around the gas-giant planet. The spacecraft swings by Jupiter once every 53.5 days at speeds approaching 130,000 mph. That makes close-up images very hard to capture.

That’s also why the full images from JunoCam, the probe’s visible-light camera, take the shape of an apple core.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

from SAI