Click for full image.
During its most recent close approach of Jupiter, Juno took the above image of the gas giant’s Great Red Spot from a distance of 26,697 miles above the cloud tops. As noted at the link,
This view highlights the contrast between the colorful South Equatorial Belt and the mostly white Southern Tropical Zone, a latitude that also features Jupiter’s most famous phenomenon, the persistent, anticyclonic storm known as the Great Red Spot.
Just for fun, I cropped out at full resolution the bright storm just to the west of the Great Red Spot, as shown on the right.
It is important to understand the vastness of this image’s scale. You could almost fit two full Earths within the Great Spot. The close-up covers only a slightly smaller range of size. Thus, that tiny bright storm would be the largest hurricane ever seen on Earth, able to cover almost the entire Pacific Ocean.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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