I typically don’t pay any attention whatsoever, but tonight Jupiter will make its closest approach to Earth in almost fifty years in either direction (link). Despite my best attempts to say otherwise on Twitter, Jupiter really won’t be anything bigger or more stunning than a very bright star high in the south sky from Europe or North America. In honour of that, I want to throw up what I personally consider one of the most stunning astro-photos of the past generation, out of deference to my obsessive interest in both Europa and Jupiter: The gas giant and ocean world together in space.
Taken by Voyager 1 in 1979, the forced perspective of the image makes it seem like Europa is clipping Jupiter’s cloud tops right next to the Great Red Spot. To give a quick idea of scale, the Spot, top to bottom (north to south) is about the diameter of Earth, and east to west, two Earths.
Categorised as: photo