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First close-ups of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot from Juno flyby

First close-ups of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot from Juno flyby

作者:熊吭柚  时间:2019-02-28 08:15:00  人气:

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SwRI/Kevin Gill By Leah Crane We’ve taken our first close-up look at the biggest storm in our solar system. On 10 July, NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew closer to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot than ever before, passing about 9,000 kilometres over its swirling clouds. The first images from the flyby have arrived, showing the tops of clouds stirred by winds at speeds well over 600 kilometres per hour. Kevin Gill, a software engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California has already processed some of the raw images taken by spacecraft. NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SwRI/Kevin Gill Juno launched in August 2011 and arrived at Jupiter in July 2016. Since then, it has been studying the giant planet’s atmosphere, magnetic field, and auroras in order to understand the structure of the gas giant and how it formed. During this close flyby, all eight of Juno’s scientific instruments were running, observing the atmosphere and magnetic field around the Great Red Spot in detail. They will be able to look at the molecular makeup and temperatures of different areas within the storm and peer through the tops of the clouds to determine how deep it extends into Jupiter’s gassy interior. We’ve been able to see the Great Red Spot for more than 150 years, and it may be much older than that. How the 16,000-kilometre-wide storm could persist for so long is still a mystery, and researchers hope that taking a deeper look into its roiling clouds will help them figure out how it’s lasted so long when other, smaller storms dissipate much more quickly. Some think that the storm begins deep within the gaseous planet, but we’ve never sent a spacecraft close enough to confirm those suspicions. Read more: Amazing pictures show cyclones swirling above Jupiter’s poles We have corrected the date of Juno’s flyby More on these topics: