JUPITER — NASA has just published the most comprehensive catalog of the planet’s Great Firewall of the Red Spot.
This is the second catalog of its kind, and NASA says the data collected by the agency’s Kepler Space Telescope is “exceptionally accurate.”
As of September 20, the catalog, which was published in the journal Science Advances, covers all of Jupiter’s five-billion-year history, and includes nearly 600,000 unique star images.
While NASA says it has not yet examined the data, the telescope’s data and observations have helped astronomers better understand the Great Red Smog, which is currently at a level that NASA calls “significant.”
“We know what it looks like.
We can’t tell how it will look in the future, but we know it’s a major threat to human spaceflight,” NASA said in a statement.
“By studying the Great Firestorm, we have learned that we need to be prepared to protect our human missions from its effects.”
A large part of the catalog was made possible by the Kepler mission, which uses the orbiting telescope to capture images of Jupiter in unprecedented detail.
NASA’s Kepler mission is expected to finish its mission in 2021, and it will be used to determine if Jupiter has an atmosphere, and whether it’s an ocean.