Infrared Outlines Jupiter's Great Red Spot In a Bright Glow

Illustration for article titled Infrared Outlines Jupiters Great Red Spot In a Bright Glow

In preparation for Juno’s approach on Jupiter in 2016, NASA’s InfraRed Telescope Facility (IRTF) took infrared images of Jupiter on May 16, 2015. Doing this now will give context for what Juno’s instruments will get when it gets up close and personal to the gas giant.

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While we usually imagine Jupiter as being dominated by the Big Red Spot, in infrared the whole image is various shades of red. The spot is only visible by the bump it creates in an otherwise bright straight line. Try to track it in this gif NASA made from four images the IRTF took:

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Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Contact the author at katharine@io9.com.

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DISCUSSION

Very cool. This is somehow the first I’ve heard of Juno. I can’t wait to see what images come back from this next year.

So now we’ve got Jupiter, Pluto, Ceres, and the Philae comet covered from the air, and Curiosity is on the ground on Mars. What else is in progress that I haven’t heard about?