Jupiter’s great red spot: both deep and wide


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NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured this detailed glimpse of Jupiter’s most recognizable feature, the Great Red Spot.

Data from Juno’s instruments indicate that this giant, long-lived vortex extends much deeper into Jupiter’s atmosphere than scientists had previously predicted, up to about 300 miles (500 kilometers) below the cloud tops. The startling discovery demonstrates that the Great Red Spot and other vortices descend below the depth where sunlight warms the atmosphere, providing new clues to the inner workings of the planet’s beautiful but violent atmosphere. The researchers published the results in the journal Science in October 2021: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-s-juno-science-results-offer-first-3d-view-of-jupiter- atmosphere

Citizen scientist Andrea Luck processed this image from raw JunoCam data. The original image was taken on July 10, 2017 at 7:10 p.m. PDT (10:10 p.m. EDT), as the Juno spacecraft made its seventh close flight over Jupiter. At the time, the spacecraft was approximately 8,600 miles (13,840 kilometers) from the cloud tops, above latitude 33 degrees south.

JunoCam’s raw images are available for the public to browse and transform into image products at
https://missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam/processing. You can find more information on NASA Citizen Science at https://science.nasa.gov/citizenscience and https://www.nasa.gov/solve/opportunities/citizenscience.

More information about Juno is available at https://www.nasa.gov/juno and https://missionjuno.swri.edu. To learn more about this discovery and other scientific findings, see https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/science-findings.

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