New Delhi: Being the largest – and now officially the oldest – planet of the solar system, Jupiter has caught the fancy of scientists and astronomers compelling them to study the gas giant better by delving into its interiors.
The Juno spacecraft was, therefore, developed to help scientists in this endeavour. Juno's entry into Jupiter's orbit in July 2016, prepared the ground for amazing revelations and information to be disclosed and the spacecraft has been highly successful in providing all that and more.
Juno's trusted imager JunoCam has been largely influential in manipulating scientists' perception regarding many findings thereafter.
Space enthusiasts are showered with visual treats from time to time, while also being offered splendid insights into the dynamics of the gas giant.
This time, another stunner has been captured by the solar-powered spacecraft, showing a dynamic storm at the southern edge of Jupiter's northern polar region.
Citizen scientists often have a gala time creating the best enhanced-colour images of Jupiter by using data delivered by Juno and without wasting any time or opportunity, citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran have processed an image of the storm.
According to NASA, this storm is a long-lived anticyclonic oval named North Temperate Little Red Spot 1 (NN-LRS-1); it has been tracked at least since 1993, and may be older still. An anticyclone is a weather phenomenon where winds around the storm flow in the direction opposite to that of the flow around a region of low pressure.
It is the third largest anticyclonic oval on the planet, typically around 3,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) long. The color varies between red and off-white (as it is now), but this JunoCam image shows that it still has a pale reddish core within the radius of maximum wind speeds.
The image has been rotated so that the top of the image is actually the equatorial regions while the bottom of the image is of the northern polar regions of the planet.
The image was taken on July 10, 2017 at 6:42 pm PDT (9:42 pm EDT), as the Juno spacecraft performed its seventh close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 7,111 miles (11,444 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a latitude of 44.5 degrees, NASA reported.