JUL 12, 2017 6:43 AM PDT

Juno Successfully Flew Over Jupiter's Great Red Spot

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

NASA’s Juno probe arrived at Jupiter and performed orbital insertion on Independence Day in 2016 after a five-year journey from Earth. Shortly after orbital insertion, planetary observation commenced, and it continues to study the massive planet’s properties today.

Juno is helping NASA learn more about Jupiter’s magnetic field, atmospheric composition & pressure, and more. Equipped with JunoCam, the probe has sent back countless high-detail images that peer into Jupiter’s chaotic clouds.

Despite some initial issues with its onboard computer system and a few sticky engine valves, NASA improvised by keeping Juno in its current orbit. This makes collecting data a little slower than initially anticipated, but it still works for all the scientific observations that are planned.

An artist's impression of Juno flying past the Great Red Spot of Jupiter.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

On Monday, June 10th, Juno came within viewing distance of the Great Red Spot, a massive storm that some researchers think has existed for centuries. NASA seized the opportunity to capture high-detail images of the Great Red Spot with JunoCam, which are expected to surface “in the coming days.”

"For generations people from all over the world and all walks of life have marveled over the Great Red Spot," said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. "Now we are finally going to see what this storm looks like up close and personal."

Related: Is Jupiter's atmosphere heated up by the Great Red Spot?

Juno came within 5,600 miles of the cloud tops just above the Great Red Spot, which provided a bird’s-eye view of everything there is to see. While there, Juno’s instruments went on full alert, ready to capture raw data for astronomers to analyze.

While many compare the Great Red Spot to a hurricane on Earth, its properties are actually very different. It rotates more quickly, it’s significantly larger, and has lasted longer without a water source than any Earthly hurricane. NASA says that this big storm is 1.3x the width of the Earth, spanning over 10,000 miles.

It will be a waiting game until the images are processed, received, and released to the public. From the sound of things, it shouldn’t be long now before we get our first glimpse. These will be some of the most detailed images anyone has ever seen of the Great Red Spot to date, so we're just as excited as the rest of the world to see what Juno captured.

Source: NASA

About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 21, 2022
Infographics
NASA Artemis Moon Program
JUL 21, 2022
NASA Artemis Moon Program
Humans haven’t stepped foot on the Moon since 1972, but NASA’s Artemis Moon Program aims to break that strea ...
AUG 16, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
Balloons Sent from the Earth Could Detect Quakes on Venus
AUG 16, 2022
Balloons Sent from the Earth Could Detect Quakes on Venus
During the Cold War, the US military launched a secret project to spy on the Soviet Union by sending microphones attache ...
SEP 24, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Grad Student Highlights: Daliah Raquel Bibas (Western University)
SEP 24, 2022
Grad Student Highlights: Daliah Raquel Bibas (Western University)
Daliah Raquel Bibas is a second-year Geology & Planetary Sciences Master’s Degree Candidate at Western Univers ...
SEP 19, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Life on Earth: Could More of the Surface Be Habitable?
SEP 19, 2022
Life on Earth: Could More of the Surface Be Habitable?
In a paper recently published in The Astronomical Journal, a group of researchers upended two long-held scientific assum ...
OCT 10, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Using Silicon-Germanium Transistor Technology to Explore Europa
OCT 10, 2022
Using Silicon-Germanium Transistor Technology to Explore Europa
In a recent study presented at the IEEE Nuclear and Space Radiation Effects Conference in July 2022, a research team led ...
OCT 19, 2022
Cell & Molecular Biology
Return of the Zombie Bacteria
OCT 19, 2022
Return of the Zombie Bacteria
Bacterial cells may shut down for many reasons. But how do they know when to wake up? Researchers have found the answer.
Loading Comments...