Behold the Furious Cyclone of Jupiter's Great Red Spot

Giant Red Spot

Monday's encounter with the Great Red Spot was the latest of 12 flyby missions now scheduled by NASA for Juno, which is to make its next close approach to Jupiter's cloud tops on 1 September.

But for now, we are just going to enjoy the magnificent view of the greatest storm humanity has ever known.

"My latest #Jupiter science flyby is complete!"

Juno, a spacecraft built at Lockheed Martin's Littleton facility, took the photos July 10 during its closest flyby, when it was only 5,600 miles above the swirling clouds.

Scientists say the Great Red Spot is a very big storm, twice as wide as Earth, which has been churning on Jupiter for at least 150 years. It is scheduled to make its next close pass to Jupiter on September 1.

Juno got to within 9,000km of the Great Red Spot.

The Juno spacecraft, which is in orbit around the largest planet in the solar system, has began its transmission of data and images on Tuesday. In case you didn't know, the giant "spot" (the centuries-old storm) is the planet's most famous feature, and is about twice the size of Earth. Scientists believe the storm is a result of a combination of cooling gasses and planet rotation, but its precise mechanics are unknown, as is the reason for its crimson appearance.

JPL manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute.

Juno has been exploring Jupiter since its arrival at the giant planet in July 2016.

Some image experts have already begun processing Juno's images for a detailed look into the spot.

NASA's Juno spacecraft reached an orbit closest to the centre of Jupiter - perijove - at a distance of 3,500km (2,200 miles) on July 10, 2017. In modern times, it appears to be shrinking. The spacecraft passed about 9,000 kilometres above the clouds of this iconic feature.

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