Launched on August 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been orbiting Jupiter since July 5, 2016, and will continue to do so until July 18. Over the past year, Juno has captured incredible photos of the Gas Giant via JunoCam, a visible light camera/telescope that is mostly used for photos that capture the attention of the public. Unfortunately, image quality is limited due to telecommunications constraints and the camera will begin to fail in a couple months because of Jupiter’s damaging radiation and magnetic field, but until then, NASA and citizen scientists are making the best of what we get by enhancing the images through a variety of techniques.
On July 10, Juno performed a flyby over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. According to Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio:
“For hundreds of years scientists have been observing, wondering and theorizing about Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. Now we have the best pictures ever of this iconic storm. It will take us some time to analyze all the data from not only JunoCam, but Juno’s eight science instruments, to shed some new light on the past, present and future of the Great Red Spot.”
Until the data is analyzed we’ll just have to enjoy these incredible photos enhanced by the citizen scientists from all around the world. And we’re okay with that.
via Mission Juno