Hubble telescope captures stunning photo of Jupiter on its closest approach to Earth

Agamoni Ghosh
nebula

After teasing the Jupiter's closest once-a-year approach to the Earth, Nasa has released a stunning detailed high-resolution image of the red planet taken by the Hubble telescope.

On 3 April, Jupiter made its nearest approach to Earth in almost a year, allowing the Hubble to capture the red planet in all its up-close glory. The image offered a spectacular view of the planet's roiling atmosphere and the famous Great Red Spot. The space telescope is a joint project between Nasa and ESA. It will continue to observe Jupiter to try and solve its mysteries including the red spot.

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The spot is believed to be an area on the planet going through a long-lived storm, roughly measuring the diameter of Earth. However, scientists say it has been slowly shrinking -- a trend seen since the late 1800s -- the reason for which is still unknown.

The latest approach to earth is known as "opposition", which means it is positioned directly opposite the Sun from the Earth. The Opposition marks Jupiter's closest point to the Earth, and the planet appears brighter at night than at any other time in the year.

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The image showcased by Nasa are part of its Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy program or OPAL that provides yearly Hubble global views of planets to look for changes in their storms, winds, and clouds. The program began since 2014 with Uranus. Jupiter and Neptune were added in 2015. From 2018 onward it will begin studying Saturn as well.

Just a week back Nasa's probe to Jupiter Juno had also captured some breathtaking images of the red planet. To seem them, click here.

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