Stunning image captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft reveals a massive storm raging over 'rose-colored Jupiter'

15:29 • 20.03.18



NASA has released a breathtaking new image of Jupiter, revealing a look at the swirling clouds high above the northern hemisphere.


The stunning colour-enhanced image was captured on February 7 from 7,578 miles above the cloud tops.


At the time, NASA’s Juno spacecraft was carrying out its 11th close flyby, according to the Daily Mail.


Jupiter’s tumultuous storms have long been a subject of intrigue – and NASA’s spacecraft has been hard at work capturing the closest views yet. 


Recent research has even found that one of the most spectacular storms in the solar system is changing colour.


Once big enough to swallow three Earths, Jupiter's 'Great Red Spot' is shrivelling at a rate of 140 miles (230km) per year, driving its cloud tops upwards, according to a new Nasa study.


Chemicals that give the oval-shaped storm its reddish hue are being lifted to higher altitudes, which may explain why the spot is gradually a more intense orange, researchers said.


Scientists believe the storm is likely to disappear altogether within 20 years.   


Scientists suggest the changes are the result of the storm's shifting winds, which reach speeds of 425 miles per hour (680kph) as they push Jupiter's crimson clouds counterclockwise around the planet's southern hemisphere.

 


New photo

 

On Feb 7, NASA's Juno spacecraft captured a stunning image of clouds over Jupiter's northern hemisphere. The color-enhanced image was obtained from over 7,500 miles away, at 49.2 degrees north latitude

 

Earlier photos

 

Jupiter's 'Great Red Spot' has is shrivelling at a rate of 140 miles (230km) per year, driving its cloud tops upwards. Chemicals that give the storm its reddish hue are being lifted to higher altitudes, which could be turning the spot orange. Researchers suggest the spot has gradually deepened in colour since 2014

Scientists suggest the changes are the result of the storm's shifting winds, which reach speeds of 425 miles per hour (680kph) as they push Jupiter's crimson clouds counterclockwise around the planet's southern hemisphere

Observations of Jupiter date back centuries, but the first confirmed sighting of the Great Red Spot was in 1831. The Nasa team combined these observations with data from Nasa spacecraft that have visited Jupiter, from Voyager in 1979, to Galileo in 1995, up to the ongoing Juno mission, which reached the planet's orbit in July 2016

The researchers analysed the spot's size, shape, colour and drift rate alongside the storm's internal wind speeds, when that information was available from spacecraft

The study shows the storm has been shrinking since 1878 and is now big enough to accommodate just over one Earth. In the 1800's it was wide enough for four Earths to fit side by side 

A researcher with the Juno mission says that the Great Red Spot has been shrinking for a long time and is only 1.3 times the size of Earth, whereas in the late 1800s it was the width of four Earths

Tom Momary posted this version of an image of the Great Red Spot, titled 'Peering into the Great Red Spot...color enhancements and vibrance, to bring out detail'. Juno took images if the Great Red Spot in July 2017 and will again be able to spot the Great Red Spot in April 2018, as well as in July and September of 2019, and one last time in December 2020

While storms on Jupiter can last for an extended period of time, those on Earth cannot because Earth's surface isn't covered in tens of thousands of miles of atmosphere   Juno took images if the Great Red Spot in July 2017 and will again be able to spot the Great Red Spot in April 2018, as well as in July and September of 2019, and one last time in December 2020

Trapped between two jet streams, the Great Red Spot is an anticyclone swirling around a centre of high atmospheric pressure that makes it rotate in the opposite sense of hurricanes on Earth. Nasa's Juno spacecraft passed about 5,600 miles (9,000 kilometers) above the Giant Red Spot clouds in July of 2017 





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