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NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Sends Its First High-Resolution Images Of Jupiter

NASA’s Juno spacecraft has beamed back the first images from its close flyby over Jupiter’s famed Great Red Spot. 

The enigmatic, alien cyclone — which is twice as wide as Earth — has fascinated researchers since the 1800s. 

Now, people can perceive the closest ever sight of the enormous storm for themselves.

Image taken Infrared by Juno and Showing an unprecedented View of Jupiters's southern Aurora.

Juno has been circling Jupiter for a little over a year on a mission to study the planet’s interior, atmosphere, and magnetosphere. Its elliptical orbit about the planet takes the probe near to the surface for some hours each 53 days. 

These are called perijove passes — and on July 10th, Juno finished its seventh. A little after its nearest approach, Juno’s camera, JunoCam, captured a few shots of the storm from approximately 5,000 miles above.

Normally, a team of NASA researchers selects which pictures a spacecraft gathers on its path about a planet. But with Juno, NASA’s opened up the procedure to the public: space fans can weigh in on the pictures JunoCam captures by ranking their desired points of interest.

After the images are taken, NASA publicizes the raw images for the public to process. People can crop them, gather them into collages, and change or improve the colors. The results are fascinating, so we rounded up a few of the highlights:

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