A NASA spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter began transmitting data and images from humanity's closest brush with the Great Red Spot, a flyby of the colossal, crimson storm that has fascinated Earthbound observers for hundreds of years.
The Juno probe logged its close encounter with Jupiter's most distinctive feature on Monday (July 10) as it passed about 5,600 miles (9,000 kilometers) above the clouds of the mammoth cyclone.
Scientists hope the exercise will help unlock such mysteries as what forces are driving the storm, how long it has existed, how deeply it penetrates the planet's lower atmosphere and why it appears to be gradually dissipating.
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