Another set of stunning images from Jupiter were sent by the farthest spacecraft powered by solar energy.
The Sun’s fifth planet, located approximately 499 million miles away from Earth, is the fifth in the Solar System. Since 2016, NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been orbiting the planet.
Juno orbits Jupiter in an extremely elliptical orbit, so it spends most time away from the gas giant. It does however, dive close to the poles every 63 days. This is called a perjove.
These are nine jaw-dropping photos taken from Juno’s data sent to NASA during Juno’s 42nd perijove. They were created just days before the “super conjunction” between Jupiter and Mars, as seen from Earth (details down).
The raw data for all images from Juno, including all of them, comes from the a aria-label=”Juno mission’s website” class=”color-link” data-ga-track=”ExternalLink:https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam/processing/” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank “>Juno mission’s website/a> The Juno mission’s website contains all the raw data.
On Sunday, May 29, 2022 Jupiter and Mars will appear to be only 0.5o apart –about half the width a full Moon-wide in the pre-dawn sky. This is what’s known as a “super conjunction.”
Look to the southeast early in the morning. For any of the night sights this week, you don’t require any equipment – just clear skies and your eyes.
Juno is the first space mission to orbit an outer world from pole to pole. It’s the first time Juno has been able to see a few thousand miles (or so) of Jupiter’s cloud tops at its poles. It is studying Jupiter’s magnetic field. So far, it has discovered some amazing facts about Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Storm, its aurorae, and its bizarre ” mushball Mechanism.”
It has also been able to photograph its moons, including Europa, Io, and Ganymede, which are larger than Pluto and Mercury.
A new report suggests that the troughs found on the surface of the largest moon in the solar system, Ganymede, may have been caused a collision between a large object measuring up to 90 miles/150 km wide. It is the largest impact structure in the solar system if the theory is true.
Juno is equipped with a titanium radiation vault that protects the spacecraft’s most sensitive scientific instruments from Jupiter’s intense radiation belts.
Juno will likely remain active at Jupiter until September 2025. However, there will be other spacecraft in Jovian to study Jupiter’s Moons after Juno dies.
The European Space Agency’s JUICE mission (Jupiter Icy moon Explorer), is scheduled for launch on April 5-25, 2023 aboard an Ariane 5 rocket, from Europe’s Spaceport, France Guiana, South America.
NASA’s Europa Clipper mission, which will launch in October 2024, will arrive in late 2027. It will perform approximately 45 flybys and photograph the moon’s surface in high resolution in each pass.
It will arrive in 2031, spend three-and-a half years studying two of Jupiter’s other moons Europa (or Callisto), before entering orbit of Ganymede on September 2032. It will be the first spacecraft to orbit another moon than Earth’s Moon.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft, valued at $1.1 billion, is the latest spacecraft to capture Jupiter’s beauty. It follows the NASA Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 Voyager 1 & Voyager 2 spacecrafts, the Galileo Orbiter, Galileo Probe and Ulysses probes.