Here are Juno’s first close-ups of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

raw images of Jupiter's great red spot

A CLOSER LOOK  The Juno spacecraft snapped the closest pictures yet taken of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot during a July 10 flyby.


The Juno spacecraft’s first closeup views of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot are here. The spacecraft flew just 9,000 kilometers above the famous storm on July 10.

Scientists had expected the images to take until at least the night of July 13 to download because the spacecraft’s antenna was pointed away from Earth. But the first images arrived early, hitting the internet at about 11:30 a.m. EDT on July 12.

The 16,000-kilometer-wide storm appears as an angry red eye full of whorls and swirls. But there’s more to come:  In addition to capturing pictures with its camera, Juno measured the spot with eight scientific instruments. Stay tuned.

processed image of Jupiter's Great Red Spot
AN ANGRY EYE Image processing by space blogger Jason Major brought out details of the swirling clouds within Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. NASA, SwRI, MSSS; processed by Jason Major

Lisa Grossman is the astronomy writer. She has a degree in astronomy from Cornell University and a graduate certificate in science writing from University of California, Santa Cruz. She lives near Boston.

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