New Up-Close Image of Jupiter Is So Hypnotic It Hurts

Janie Parker
March 30, 2017

During this process, all of Juno's eight science instruments will be on and collecting data during the flyby.

"This will be our fourth science pass - the fifth close flyby of Jupiter of the mission - and we are excited to see what new discoveries Juno will reveal", said Scott Bolton, Principal Investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, US.

During its mission, Juno will circle Jupiter a total of 36 times, soaring low over the planet's cloud tops. The Juno team is still working to analyze data from this and the last four flybys and expect to publish new research papers with science results within the next four months, they added. The four new research teams that have been selected will join the existing nine teams in NASA's SSERVI and will focus to address scientific questions about the moon, near-Earth asteroids, their near space environments, in cooperation with global partners.

The Juno mission left Earth on August 5, 2011, and entered Jupiter's orbit on July 4, 2016.

Instead, the mission will continue with Juno in its current orbit until February 2018, when the probe will be crashed into Jupiter to avoid potentially contaminating Jupiter's moons with microbes from Earth.

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Its aim is to begin a scientific investigation of the planet. Following its 20 months in orbit, Juno will crash land on the planet whilst also offering a never before look at its atmosphere.

The image, originally taken by Juno's "JunoCam" camera, was taken in early February and shows Jupiter's ever-swirling mass of storm clouds from an altitude of roughly 9,000 miles.

The Juno mission seeks to better understand the formation of our solar system by observing and measuring properties of Jupiter's atmosphere, its magnetic and gravitational fields (revealing its underlying structure), and its auroras.

NASA's Juno mission has completed another flyby of Jupiter, and the pictures are stunning. On Monday, the ship passed about 2,700 miles over the cloud tops of Jupiter, having a speed of 129,000 mph. This image was processed by citizen scientist John Landino. Just south of the dark storm is a bright, oval-shaped storm with high, bright, white clouds, reminiscent of a swirling galaxy.

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