Juno and Jupiter


The Juno spacecraft arrives at Jupiter later today.

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Video Credit: NASA

Closing In on Jupiter


Juno20160621The Juno spacecraft took this picture on 21 June while it was 10.9 million km from Jupiter. Juno will arrive at Jupiter on July 4. The planet’s four largest moons—Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto—are visible, and the alternating light and dark bands of the planet’s clouds are just discernible.

Image Credit: NASA

Our Last Close Look at Jupiter


NH_flybyThe New Horizons spacecraft took some stunning images of Jupiter when it flew by for a gravity assist in 2007 on its way out to Pluto. This image has been horizontally compressed. It was taken near Jupiter’s terminator and shows the planet’s diverse cloud patterns. The clouds on the left are closest to Jupiter’s South Pole. Here turbulent whirlpools and swirls are seen in a dark region, called a belt, that circles the planet. Moving north, light colored regions, called zones, shown complex wave patterns. These bands can be seen in much less detail with even a small telescope by backyard astronomers.

New Horizons is the fastest space probe ever launched. It successfully complete its flyby of Pluto in 2015, and is now on course to flyby Kuiper belt object 2014 MU69 in 2019. We’ll be getting new close ups of Jupiter soon. The Juno spacecraft arrives at Jupiter next Monday.

Image Credit: NASA