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This animation shows Jupiter as revealed by a powerful telescope and a mid-infrared filter sensitive to the giant planet’s tropospheric temperatures and cloud thickness. It combines observations made on Jan. 14, 2017, using the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii.
Credits: NAOJ/NASA/JPL-Caltech









Earth-based Views of Jupiter to Enhance Juno Flyby

Telescopes in Hawaii have obtained new images of Jupiter and its Great Red Spot, which will assist the first-ever close-up study of the Great Red Spot, planned for July 10. On that date, NASA’s Juno spacecraft will fly directly over the giant planet’s most famous feature at an altitude of only about 5,600 miles (9,000 kilometers).

Throughout the Juno mission, numerous observations of Jupiter by Earth-based telescopes have been acquired in coordination with the mission, to help Juno investigate the giant planet’s atmosphere. On May 18, 2017, the Gemini North telescope and the Subaru Telescope, both on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea peak, simultaneously examined Jupiter in very high resolution at different wavelengths. These latest observations supplement others earlier this year in providing information about atmospheric dynamics at different depths at the Great Red Spot and other regions of Jupiter.
ジュノーのミッションの中で、ジュノーが巨大惑星である木星の大気を観測する手助けとするため、地球上の望遠鏡による木星のおびただしい数の観測が実施されています。 2017年5月18日にジェミニ北望遠鏡とすばる望遠鏡(両方ともハワイのマウナケアの山頂にあります)は、同時に異なる波長で木星を超高解像度観測しました。これらの最新の観測を、今年初めに実施された他のデータと合わせ、大赤斑や木星の他の地域で異なる深さの大気の動態に関する情報としてまとめることができました。

The Great Red Spot is a swirling storm, centuries old and wider than the diameter of Earth. Juno will use multiple instruments to study this feature when it flies over it about 12 minutes after the spacecraft makes the closest approach to Jupiter of its current orbit at 6:55 p.m. on July 10, PDT (9:55 p.m. on July 10, EDT; 1:55 a.m. on July 11, Universal Time). Juno entered orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016.

“Observations with Earth’s most powerful telescopes enhance the spacecraft’s planned observations by providing three types of additional context,” said Juno science team member Glenn Orton of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. “We get spatial context from seeing the whole planet. We extend and fill in our temporal context from seeing features over a span of time. And we supplement with wavelengths not available from Juno. The combination of Earth-based and spacecraft observations is a powerful one-two punch in exploring Jupiter.”
「地球における最も強力な望遠鏡による観測で、3種類の追加情報を得て探査機の観測計画を更新することができました。」 と、NASAのJPLのジュノー・サイエンスチームのメンバーであるグレン・オートン氏が言いました。「私たちは、木星全体を俯瞰する空間的な情報を得られました。時間軸の流れを拡張し、必要な観測項目を埋め込むことができたのです。なにせジュノーでは観測に使用していない波長によるデータを補うことができたのですから。木星を観測するのに、地球上の観測結果と探査機の観測結果でワン・ツーパンチになります。

Orton collaborated with researchers at Gemini; Subaru; the University of California, Berkeley; Tohoku University, Japan; and elsewhere in planning the recent observations.

The observers used Gemini North on May 18 to examine Jupiter through special near-infrared filters. The filters exploit specific colors of light that can penetrate the upper atmosphere and clouds of Jupiter, revealing mixtures of methane and hydrogen in the planet’s atmosphere. These observations showed a long, fine-structured wave extending off the eastern side of the Great Red Spot.

On the same night, researchers used Subaru’s Cooled Mid-Infrared Camera and Spectrometer (COMICS), with filters sensitive to temperatures at different layers of Jupiter’s atmosphere. These mid-infrared observations showed the Great Red Spot “had a cold and cloudy interior increasing toward its center, with a periphery that was warmer and clearer,” Orton said. “A region to its northwest was unusually turbulent and chaotic, with bands that were cold and cloudy, alternating with bands that were warm and clear.”

For more information about the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s Subaru Telescope, visit:

For more information about the Gemini Observatory, a partnership of the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Chile, visit:

JPL manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. The Juno mission is part of the New Frontiers Program managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for the Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. JPL is a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California. More information on the Juno mission is available at:

DC Agle / Guy Webster
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
818-393-9011 / 818-354-6278
agle@jpl.nasa.gov / guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov

Deb Schmid
Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio

Yuko Kakazu
Subaru Telescope, Hilo, Hawaii

Peter Michaud
Gemini Observatory, Hilo, Hawaii

Laurie Cantillo / Dwayne Brown
NASA Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1077 / 202-358-1726
laura.l.cantillo@nasa.gov / dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

Last Updated: July 1, 2017
Editor: Tony Greicius

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