NASA’s Juno spacecraft now orbiting Jupiter is equipped with instruments designed to study the giant planet’s interior. But it also carries a public-outreach camera known as JunoCam that sends back imagery that is processed by citizen scientists. Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran have combined to produce stunning views of Jupiter, including this image captured by Juno after its 12th close approach, providing a unique view showing the Great Red Spot in all its glory as if it’s in the northern hemisphere. The raw imagery was captured on 1 April over a span of about 32 minutes at altitudes between 17, 329 and 68,959 kilometres (10,7678 and 42,849 miles). The image is a composite of several shots that NASA says were “re-projected, blended and healed.”
The Juno probe’s public-outreach camera routinely captures stunning views of Jupiter cloudtops and storms, including the Great Red Spot, seen here in an image processed by graphic artist Seán Doran. The GRS has been shrinking for years, but it remains easily the largest storm in the solar system and one still worthy of its name.
Early risers will already be aware that there’s currently a lot of planetary activity in the morning sky, but at dawn in Western Europe on Monday, 2 April, Mars and Saturn will be just 1¼ degrees apart and seen in the same field of view of telescopes at 30x magnification. The waning Moon is close by on the mornings of 7 & 8 April too.