On Monday, the Juno spacecraft made its eighth close flyby of the planet Jupiter, and this time the spacecraft flew over the Great Red Spot that has captured the public’s attention since its discovery in the 17th century. Why is it so big? So red? And why has this storm lasted for centuries?
Juno reached perijove on Monday at 9:55pm ET, and at the time, the spacecraft was just 3,500km above the planet’s upper clouds.
It was still flying near the surface of Jupiter, at an elevation of 9,000km, when it passed over the Great Red Spot 11 minutes later. “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.”
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