For the first time in history, NASA’s spacecraft, Juno, will come within 2,200 miles of Jupiter’s surface, above the “Great Red Spot”
Juno has been in Jupiter’s orbit for more than a year, and will fly directly over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot later today, while also offering the first close up of the 10,000 mile-wide storm.
Humans have monitored the red spot since 1830 according to NASA; it is thought to have existed for as much as 350 years.
“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,” said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno – Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio
Juno will be closest to Juptier’s center at 9:55 p.m. ET, and it will pace 2,200 miles above the planet’s cloud tops.
More than that, according to NASA’s calculations, the spacecraft will take 11 minutes to be directly above Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.
Juno has been in Jupiter’s orbit for more than a year, traveling around 71 million miles around the planet. The results of today’s mission are highly expected.
NASA posted on Twitter: “Our @NASAJuno craft makes its 6th fly by of Jupiter on Monday, this time concentrating on the planet’s Great Red Spot”, and let the entire world know about their mission.