NASA’s Juno snaps mesmerizing pictures of 'The King of Planets '
NASA's Spacecraft has been observing Jupiter since 2016.
Jupiter is gargantuan planet, often referred to as a failed star and its images are always grand and imposing. And yet, it always manages to surprise with its hues and that is what has just happened. Mesmerizing images of Jupiter were captured recently on 23rd June by NASA's Juno spacecraft, according to a report by Forbes. Everything about the planet is big. In fact there is a storm blowing on it, which is known as Jupiter's Red Spot and it can swallow as many as three Earths. And at 69,911 km, Jupiter is some 11 times wider than Earth.
The NASA spacecraft Juno, too is special and holds the record for being the farthest solar-powered spacecraft from Earth. It was on its 52nd perijove, a close flyby of the planet, when it took the photo. After it transmitted the raw data, scientists assembled and edited the images for proper viewing.
Developed by Lockheed Martin and operated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Juno is a remarkable spacecraft that cost $1.1 billion.NASA's Juno spacecraft embarked on an expedition to investigate Jupiter in August 2011, commencing a remarkable five-year odyssey. After traversing the cosmic expanse, it finally reached its celestial destination in July 2016.
Currently engaged in an extended mission, the intrepid spacecraft remains committed to unraveling Jupiter's mysteries until September 2025, or until its inevitable end of life. It successfully entered Jupiter's orbit on July 4, 2016. Since then, Juno has been following an elliptical orbit, allowing it to approach Jupiter's cloud tops closely. However, its current extended mission focuses primarily on studying Jupiter's large Galilean moons—Ganymede, Europa, Callisto, and Io. The spacecraft completes an orbit around Jupiter every 32 days
Juno has already conducted close flybys of Ganymede in 2021 and Europa in 2022, with the latter moon being of particular interest to astrobiologists in their search for life elsewhere in the solar system.
During its most recent perijove on May 17, 2023, Juno captured images of Jupiter's moon Io from a mere 22,060 miles/35,500 kilometers above its surface. Io is renowned as the most volcanic object in the solar system, with numerous volcanoes dotting its surface and continuously spewing lava.
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