New Horizons, the robotic probe destined to reach Pluto in 2015, took some exciting photos when it flew within 1.4 million miles of Jupiter last February. Data from the fruitful detour for NASA’s fastest spacecraft will be published in Science this month. Highlights include photos of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and a supervolcano erupting, CNET reports.
Scientists learned more about Jupiter’s atmosphere when thunderstorms struck the polar regions of the planet, a rare events the probe was lucky to catch. New Horizons neared Jupiter for the practical reason of picking up speed from the planet’s gravity, but for those on the ground at NASA it provided important information on our solar system’s largest planet.