NASA Jupiter Probe to Fly Over Great Red Spot Tonight

NASA’s Juno booster is about to get a best-ever demeanour during Jupiter’s famous Great Red Spot.

Juno will fly over a 10,000-mile-wide (16,000 kilometers) charge — which is so large that 3 Earths could fit inside it — at 10:06 p.m. EDT tonight (July 10; 0206 GMT on Jul 11), during a probe’s sixth scholarship flyby of Jupiter.

The confront will yield amiability a initial up-close looks during a Great Red Spot, that astronomers have been monitoring given 1830.

“Jupiter’s puzzling Great Red Spot is substantially a best-known underline of Jupiter,” Juno principal questioner Scott Bolton, of a Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, said in a statement. “This staggering charge has raged on a solar system’s biggest world for centuries. Now, Juno and her cloud-penetrating scholarship instruments will dive in to see how low a roots of this charge go, and assistance us know how this hulk charge works and what creates it so special.”

The $1.1 billion Juno goal launched in Aug 2011 and arrived in circuit around Jupiter on Jul 4, 2016. Ever since, a booster has been looping around a gas hulk each 53.5 days in a rarely elliptical circuit that brings it within a few thousand miles of Jupiter’s cloud tops during a closest point, or perijove.

During a Jul 10 flyby, perijove will come during 9:55 p.m. EDT (0255 GTM on Jul 11), when Juno will be only 2,200 miles (3,500 km) above Jupiter. The examine will fly over a Great Red Spot 11 mins and 33 seconds later, skimming about 5,600 miles (9,000 km) above a storm, NASA officials said.

“All 8 of a spacecraft’s instruments as good as a imager, JunoCam, will be on during a flyby,” NASA officials wrote in a same statement.

Juno is regulating this scholarship rigging to investigate Jupiter’s combination and interior structure, entertainment information that will exhibit clues about a planet’s arrangement and evolution. The examine collects many of this information during a perijove passes.

Juno is scheduled to continue handling by during slightest Feb 2018.

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on

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