Juno probe takes photo of Jupiter’s atmosphere, 2 large moons
A flyby of Jupiter by NASA’s Juno spacecraft provided a stunning image of the gas giant’s cloud tops and the moons Callisto and Io.
The newly released image was taken by the JunoCam spacecraft just under a year ago, on November 29, 2021, as the Jupiter-exploring Juno completed its 38th close flyby of the largest planet in our solar system.
The picture shows the arc of Jupiter‘s horizon and swirling planets, billowing clouds, while also capturing the moons Io (above) and Callisto (below).
The image was taken when Juno was about 8,700 miles (14,000 kilometers) above Jupiter’s cloud tops, at a latitude of about 69 degrees, traveling at about 123,000 mph (198,000 km/h) relative to the planet, according to NASA. statement.
Citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt used raw JunoCam data to create the original version of this image. Another citizen scientist, Thomas Thomopoulos, then processed it further, zooming in and enhancing the colors, according to NASA.
Juno recently flew by another of Jupiter’s four large Galilean moons, the ice-covered oceanic world of Europa, returning first close up pictures of the month in more than 20 years. Juno also approached the fourth Galilean moon, Ganymedein April 2021, providing impressive images of the Solar System’s largest moon during that flyby.
The close approaches don’t stop there. The Juno spacecraft – which launched in 2011 and arrived at Jupiter in 2016 – is next scheduled to fly by the violently volcanic world Io in December 2023 and February 2024.
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