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By Jupiter! Juno spacecraft pictures hit the spot

Published 13/07/2016

A Juno image of Jupiter in which the planet's Great Red Spot can be seen (Juno/Nasa/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/AP)
A Juno image of Jupiter in which the planet's Great Red Spot can be seen (Juno/Nasa/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/AP)

A Nasa spacecraft has sent back the first pictures since arriving at Jupiter.

An image shows Jupiter surrounded by three of its four largest moons, taken on Saturday when the Juno spacecraft was circling three million miles away. Even at that distance, Jupiter's Great Red Spot - a centuries-old atmospheric storm - was visible.

Juno entered orbit around Jupiter last week after a five-year journey. It is on a 20-month mission to map the giant planet's poles, atmosphere and interior.

During the approach, the camera and instruments were powered off as a precaution as Juno braved intense radiation. The instruments were turned back on several days after the arrival.

Scientists have said close-ups of Jupiter will not come until next month when Juno swings back around.

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From Belfast Telegraph