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Juno Sees Massive Storm on Jupiter

NASA’s Juno spacecraft has spotted a huge anticyclonic storm in Jupiter’s high north temperate latitudes.

Juno snapped this shot of Jupiter’s northern latitudes on Dec. 11, 2016, as the orbiter performed a close flyby of the gas giant. The spacecraft was at an altitude of 10,300 miles (16,600 km) above Jupiter’s cloud tops. The image was processed by citizen astronomers Gerald Eichstaedt and John Rogers. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstaedt / John Rogers.

Juno snapped this shot of Jupiter’s northern latitudes on Dec. 11, 2016, as the orbiter performed a close flyby of the gas giant. The spacecraft was at an altitude of 10,300 miles (16,600 km) above Jupiter’s cloud tops. The image was processed by citizen astronomers Gerald Eichstaedt and John Rogers. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstaedt / John Rogers.

As well as the famous Great Red Spot, a giant storm system three times wider than our planet, Jupiter sometimes presents one or more Little Red Spots.

Little Red Spots are often seen in the North North Temperate Zone.

They attract attention due to their color and sometimes other exceptional features.

The new image from NASA’s Juno orbiter shows NN-LRS-1, the longest-lived Little Red Spot (lower left).

NN-LRS-1 is the third largest anticyclonic storm on the gas giant, which astronomers have tracked for the last 24 years.

An anticyclone is a weather phenomenon with large-scale circulation of winds around a central region of high atmospheric pressure.

They rotate clockwise in the northern hemisphere, and counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere.

NN-LRS-1 has been observed by several spacecraft, including NASA’s Galileo and Cassini orbiters, during its long life.

Its color has varied several times from red to dull white.

Now it shows very little color, just a pale brown smudge in the center.

The color is very similar to the surroundings, making it difficult to see as it blends in with the clouds nearby.