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Citizen scientists

Juno, zoom on the Great Red Spot

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, spotted as the spacecraft performed its 12th close flyby of the giant planet

This image of Jupiter’s iconic Great Red Spot and surrounding turbulent zones was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft. The color-enhanced image is a combination of three separate images taken on April , as Juno performed its 12th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was 24,749 kilometers to 49,299 kilometers from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a southern latitude spanning 43.2 to 62.1 degrees. Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran processed this image using data from the JunoCam imager.

JUNO's goal is to analyse the Jupiter’s characteristics as representative of the giant planets. The Solar System’s ‘heavyweight’ can, in fact, offer fundamentally important data not only for gaining deeper knowledge of the origin of the System itself, but also for analysing those of the planetary systems that are gradually discovered around other stars, with particular reference to those exoplanets that have a similar mass to that of Jupiter. JUNO's heart is the Italian JIRAM (Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper), financed by ASI, built by Leonardo-Finmeccanica and operated under the scientific responsibility of INAF's Institute of Astrophysics and Planetology (IAPS).  JUNO's other Italian component is KaT (Ka-Band Translator), a radio science instrument designed by the 'La Sapienza' University of Rome, built by Thales Alenia Space Italia (A Thales/Leonardo-Finmeccanica company) again with ASI's support.