Thursday, 6 July 2017

JUNO To fly over the Great Red Spot

Jupiter and its shrunken Great Red SpotJupiter's Great Red Spot as Juno flies in

The Juno orbiter is due to fly about 9000 km above the centre of the Great Red Spot (GRS) on Monday night, about 12 minutes after its closest approach to the planet on July 11 at01:55 UT.  NASA have posted two press releases, one about the fly-over,

and one showing some superb mid-infrared images of the GRS taken by Dr Glenn Orton and colleagues on May 18 (and earlier).

These images can be compared with superb visible-light views taken by Christopher Goon May 19, one of which is shown in a new report posted on the Jupiter Section web pages (BAA web site > Jupiter Section > Jupiter in 2016-17 > Report no.13;  unfortunately these e-bulletins cannot give links).

Chris Go's high resolution revealed the regular pattern within the GRS, whose internal rotation could be observed over less than an hour, as shown in an animation of maps made by Michel Jacquesson. The report also shows a very recent image of the GRS (by Gary Walker), which is at exactly the predicted longitude to be below Juno’s track.  A preview of the July 11 flyby (Perijove-7)was posted on the Section web pages as Report no.12. Meanwhile,the best ground-based image of Jupiter ever taken was produced on June 11 by Damian Peach with a team of observers using the 1-metre telescope at the Pic du Midi Observatory in the French Pyrenees.  They were holding a EuroPlanet-sponsored workshop to promote use of the telescope by advanced amateurs, and produced unequally outstanding image of Saturn.  The Jupiter image does not show the GRS, but it does show red oval BA and a wealth of intricate detail in many other features.

Note to members:

We are posting items on the BAA Jupiter Section web pages quite frequently during this apparition with the Juno mission ongoing, but rarely send out e-bulletins. So if you would like to keep up-to-date with Jupiter and Juno, please either check the BAA webpage and Section web page weekly, or follow ‘BAA Jupiter Section’ on Facebook, or contact the BAA Jupiter Section Director via the BAA web site to become a member of the Section and of our emailing list.

John Rogers


John H. Rogers, 

Jupiter Section Director,

British Astronomical Association.


Post a Comment