Juno arrived at Jupiter July 4 after a five-year journey, and this will be the closest approach of the entire mission, with the spacecraft grazing over the tops of Jupiter’s clouds at a distance of just 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) at a speed of 130,000 mph (208,000 km/h).
After a five year journey from Earth, Juno the solar-powered spacecraft squeezed through a narrow band, skimming Jupiter’s surface, avoiding the worst of both its radiation belt and its dangerous dust rings.
The spacecraft will orbit the planet once every 53 days until October 14, when it will shift to a tighter 14-day orbit. And after about 20 months of learning everything it can about Jupiter’s interior and its atmosphere, it will eventually succumb to the harsh environment and plunge into the planet’s crushing centre.
The Hubble Space Telescope has captured new images of Jupiter’s glowing aurora swirling around one of the planet’s poles, as part of a wider observation programme of the gas giant.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft is expected to descend into Jupiter on 4 July at 1757 BST, when Mission Juno will commence. The trip to Jupiter is part of a wider quest to understand how the Solar System and life within it formed billions of years ago.
Welcome Home, Major Tim Peake. Amazing to see you back safely and still smiling! Brilliant and Inspirational.
New! A “Special Edition” EPHEMERIS featuring
“Your Winning Hand Predictions” booklet!
BUY NOW! Limited stock available.
A rarely seen phenomenon occurs this year, on May 9th, as Mercury is detected making a transit across the face of the sun. The first observation of the transit was documented in 1631, an amazing feat as Mercury is 48 million miles away and only about the size of the moon.