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Nasa craft snaps close-up of Jupiter's Great Red Spot

13 July 2017 17:30
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Nasa craft snaps close-up of Jupiter's Great Red Spot

NASA has released a series of stunning images of a raging storm on Jupiter, known as the Great Red Spot, snapped earlier this week as an unmanned probe zipped by.

"For hundreds of years scientists have been observing, wondering and theorizing about Jupiter's Great Red Spot," said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

Scientists hope to learn more about what drives the storm, and Bolton said it would take some time to analyse the data captured by Juno's eight instruments as it passed over the tempest a height of 9,000 kilometres.

The Great Red Spot measured 16,350 kilometres wide on April 3 of this year, which is 1.3 times the size of the Earth.

It has been monitored since 1830 and has possibly existed for more than 350 years.

Juno launched in 2011 and began orbiting Jupiter last year. Its next flyby is planned for early September.

"These highly-anticipated images of Jupiter's Great Red Spot are the 'perfect storm' of art and science," said Jim Green, NASA's director of planetary science.

"We are pleased to share the beauty and excitement of space science with everyone."

Source: rte.ie

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