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.”
Jupiter now lies highest in the UK sky at sunset, but the Solar System’s largest planet and its four bright Galilean moons still provide plenty of observable events during June, as we reveal. If you’re uncertain which evening ‘star’ is Jupiter, the Moon conveniently passes by on the night of 3—4 June, a time when European skywatchers can also see the Moon occult (hide) bright double star Porrima.
If clear skies persist, observers in the UK can view four naked-eye planets between now and the end of the month. Brightest planet Venus is visible low in the west some 45 minutes after sunset, while the waxing Moon is your celestial pointer to Jupiter, Saturn and Mars between 21 and 28 July at midnight.