NASA’s Juno spacecraft, currently orbiting Jupiter, routinely captures stunning views of the giant planet’s turbulent atmosphere, providing a treasure-trove of data for researchers and citizen-scientists like Seán Doran, who carries out sophisticated processing of raw imagery from the spacecraft’s JunoCam public-outreach camera. This view captures Jupiter’s Great Red Spot during Juno’s seventh low-altitude pass.
In recent nights, observers in the UK and Western Europe have seen the International Space Station (ISS) as a bright naked-eye ‘star’ moving slowly across the sky from west to east. On Thursday, 9 June, London is favoured for some close approaches of the ISS to the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn. If you see the Station, spare a thought for Tim Peake and the Expedition 47 crew on board!
Jupiter is now less than a month from opposition (7 April), so it’s very much open season for the Solar System’s largest planet. If you’re unsure where to find it, the rising 17-day-old waning gibbous Moon passes just two degrees from Jupiter on the UK evening of 14 March. Virgo’s brightest star, first-magnitude Spica, makes it a great binocular triumvirate.