It’s been a year since the world’s most famous space agency sent their Juno spacecraft into Jupiter’s orbit.
Now for the first time, humans are about to see what is described as a 16,093 km storm that NASA has been watching since 1830: The Great Red Spot.
Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio said,
“Jupiter’s mysterious Great Red Spot is probably the best-known feature of Jupiter. This monumental storm has raged on the solar system’s biggest planet for centuries. Now, Juno and her cloud-penetrating science instruments will dive in to see how deep the roots of this storm go, and help us understand how this giant storm works and what makes it so special.”
Yep, you read that right – centuries. The agency believes the storm is 350 years old!
On Monday July 10 the Juno space craft executed its sixth flyby -the closest one yet.
During the study of the planet, scientists have learnt that the Great Red Spot is twice the size of Earth. The winds are also ridiculously fast, reaching close to 644 km per hour.
NASA has now confirmed as of 11.16 am July 11 that the Juno spacecraft completed its flyby successfully. Images should be available in the next few days.
— NASA's Juno Mission (@NASAJuno) July 11, 2017