Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Glows A Pretty Pink In Luminous New Photo


Jupiter looks blue and its Great Red Spot takes on a strange pinkish hue in a spectacular new photo released Jan. 15 by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. That’s because the photo shows our solar system’s largest planet not in visible but in infrared light.

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The photo was taken July 26, 2012 by a camera mounted on the organization’s Subaru Telescope, an 8.2-meter instrument perched atop Mauna Kea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.

In addition to the Great Red Spot–actually a swirling storm so vast that three Earths would fit within its boundaries–the photo shows the Jovian moon Ganymede in the upper right. One of more than 60 moons known to orbit Jupiter, Ganymede looks stretched out because it moved during the time required to take the photo.
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