NASA’s unmanned spacecraft Juno has successfully peered into the Jupiter’s giant storm known as the Great Red Spot. It became first space probe to complete flyby of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot
The Great Red Spot on Jupiter is a massive storm (cyclone) measuring about 16,000 km in diameter. It is largest known storm in the solar system. It has been monitored since 1830 and has possibly existed for more than 350 years.
The winds in the storm are clocked at hundreds of km an hour around its outer edges. Little is known about the forces driving it. The spot appears as a deep, red orb surrounded by layers of pale yellow, orange and white. The storm is believed to have been shrinking in recent years.
About Juno spacecraft
NASA had launched unmanned spacecraft Juno on August 5, 2011 from Cape Canaveral, Florida as part of its New Frontiers program. It has been orbiting Jupiter, solar system’s largest planet from July 2016.
The spacecraft has been named from Greco-Roman mythology. It is orbiting Jupiter from pole to pole, 5,000 kilometers above planet’s cloud tops. It has mission life istill February 2018.
Its mission is to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter, investigate the existence of a solid planetary Jupiter’s core, map Jupiter’s intense magnetic field, measure the amount of water and ammonia in the deep atmosphere and observe Jupiter’s aurora.