A close-up portrait of Jupiter

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Jupiter snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope.
NSA/ESA/A. Simon

On April 3, the Hubble Space Telescope turned its Wide Field Camera 3 toward Jupiter.

The gas giant is currently at “opposition”, which means the Earth is now sitting on a straight line between it and the sun. This is the time of year when we are closest to Jupiter, and the planet is brightest in the night sky.  

This makes it the perfect time for photograph. Hubble was able to capture details in the atmosphere as small as 129 kilometres across. The Hubble observation was also timed to coincide with a close approach to Jupiter by NASA’s space probe Juno, so that scientists could get concurrent observations.

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