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Junocam Image of the Earth-Sized “Red Spot Jr.” Storm on Jupiter

Enhanced image of Oval BA, aka "Red Spot Jr.," from NASA's Juno spacecraft. Credit: NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Jason Major

Enhanced image of Oval BA, aka “Red Spot Jr.,” from NASA’s Juno spacecraft. Credit: NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Jason Major

Everyone knows about Jupiter’s famous Great Red Spot, the centuries-old giant anticyclone on Jupiter’s southern hemisphere 2-3 times the size of Earth. But there are many other smaller (but still huge by terrestrial standards!) storms on Jupiter, the largest of which is Oval BA—also known as the “Red Spot Jr.” The image above shows this approximately Earth-sized anticyclone, imaged by NASA’s Juno spacecraft during its 4th “perijove” close pass on Feb. 2, 2017.

I enhanced the original image from Juno’s Junocam instrument to bring out the structure and colors of the swirling clouds in Oval BA. You can see some bright cloud top domes within the center of the storm itself, the result of “boiling” convection cells not unlike what happens in storms on Earth…except on a much larger scale!

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