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Jupiter stares back in ravishing Hubble portrait

The planet's Great Red Spot looks like a cyclops' bleary eye in this view from the space telescope.


Hubble snapped this view of Jupiter on June 27.

NASA, ESA, A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center) and M.H. Wong (University of California, Berkeley)

Jupiter is always a stunner. The streaky gas giant with its scenic swirls just posed for a fresh Hubble Space Telescope portrait. It looks as lovely and wild as ever. On Thursday, NASA shared the new Jupiter image, which was taken June 27.  

The Great Red Spot is the star of the show. It's a massive, mysterious storm that's been raging for hundreds of years. It has changed shape over time and currently bears a resemblance to a red eye. 

Colorful bands of clouds move around the Great Red Spot. These bands are kept separated by tremendous winds that can hit 400 miles (644 kilometers) per hour.

NASA also shared a cool video showing Jupiter's rotation as assembled from Hubble images. 

NASA brings our attention to the orange band near the planet's middle. "The bright orange color may be a sign that deeper clouds are starting to clear out, emphasizing red particles in the overlying haze," the space agency said.

The Juno spacecraft is currently checking out Jupiter from orbit, giving us a closer look at the planet's active, stormy atmosphere. Hubble's view is from farther away, but both NASA missions contribute to an understanding of how Jupiter works. 

Hubble, which is a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency, takes regular looks at Jupiter in order to track changes in its colors and storms. NASA said this year's portrait shows a "more intense color palette in the clouds swirling in Jupiter's turbulent atmosphere than seen in previous years." It's a beauty.