Six years since the Juno spacecraft started its journey, it has completed a close flyby directly over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, NASA has confirmed. This was humanity’s first up-close and personal view of the gigantic feature, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) confirmed.
My latest #Jupiter science flyby is complete! All science instruments + #JunoCam were operating to collect data,” the Juno team tweeted on 11 July 2017. Jupiter’s Great Spot is a 16,000-km wide storm monitored since 1830 and possibly existing for more than 350 years, Xinhua news agency reported. Juno celebrated its first anniversary in Jupiter orbit on July 4.
According to NASA, at the time of perijove, Juno was about 3,500 km above the planet’s cloud tops. Eleven minutes and 33 seconds later, Juno had covered another 39,771 km and was passing directly above the coiling crimson cloud tops of the Great Red Spot. The spacecraft passed about 9,000 km above the clouds of this iconic feature. Jupiter’s mysterious Great Red Spot is probably the best-known feature of Jupiter. Data collection of the Great Red Spot is part of Juno’s sixth science flyby. All of Juno’s science instruments as well as its imager, JunoCam, were operating during the flyby, collecting data that are now being returned to Earth.