Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is a true wonder of nature. This massive vortex — a powerful hurricane that has been raging over the planet’s surface for more than 350 years — is an anticyclone, just like the giant dark storm spotted on Neptune earlier this year by NASA’s Hubble Telescope.
Fostered by the gas giant’s turbulent atmosphere, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot has been continuously observed for the past two centuries. This colossal storm is wider than the entire diameter of our planet, and it runs almost 200 miles deep.
The snapshot was processed by citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran from a series of images taken by the NASA’s Juno probe at the beginning of April, during the spacecraft’s 12th flyby of Jupiter.
The photos were captured by the probe’s JunoCam from above the planet’s cloud tops at a distance of between 10,768 miles (17,329 kilometers) to 42,849 miles (68,959 kilometers), the space agency revealed in a news release.
While snapping the constituent images that Eichstädt and Doran incorporated in the newly-released photograph, the spacecraft was positioned at a southern latitude. This allowed it to capture a “new perspective” of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot that has never been seen before in previous Juno photos.
“This new perspective of Jupiter from the south makes the Great Red Spot appear as though it is in northern territory,” noted NASA officials.
The two citizen scientists obtained this spectacular image by re-projecting, blending, and healing a number of photos taken by the JunoCam during April 1 observations that lasted for about half an hour.
“This view is unique to Juno and demonstrates how different our view is when we step off the Earth and experience the true nature of our three-dimensional universe,” states the NASA news release.
The next Jupiter flyby of the Juno spacecraft is scheduled to take place on May 24, when the space probe is set to collect new data on the gas giant’s magnetic field, as well as its gravity, structure, and composition.
Jupiter has received a lot of attention lately, after 20-year-old data from NASA’s Galileo mission uncovered exciting new details about its largest moon, Ganymede, and the smallest of its four Galilean moons, Europa.
Studies on Jupiter’s Great Red Spot have also made headlines earlier this year, when NASA revealed that the massive storm is growing taller and gradually turning orange.
This giant anticyclone has been constantly changing since it was first observed in 1830. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot has been shrinking over the past century and a half and might disappear altogether within the next couple of decades.