Juno will fly a mere 9,000 km above Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

Juno spacecraft illustration

STORM CHASING IN SPACE On July 10, the NASA spacecraft Juno (as seen in this artist’s concept) will snap the closest-ever images of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.

JPL/NASA

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is ready for its close-up. On July 10, NASA’s Juno spacecraft will fly directly over it, providing the first intimate views of Jupiter’s most famous feature.

The Great Red Spot is a 16,000-kilometer-wide storm that’s been raging for centuries. Juno will soar just 9,000 kilometers above the Red Spot’s swirling clouds, collecting data with its eight scientific instruments and snapping pictures with its JunoCam imager.

Since Juno started orbiting Jupiter last July, it’s revealed many new, sometimes surprising insights into the planet’s structure, atmosphere, and magnetic field. The forthcoming Red Spot observations are expected to help scientists understand what drives Jupiter’s iconic storm.

Maria Temming

Previously the staff writer for physical sciences at Science News, Maria Temming is the assistant editor at Science News for Students. She has bachelor's degrees in physics and English, and a master's in science writing.

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