Juno Captures Its First Image of Jupiter From Orbit


After traveling approximately 1.7 billion miles over the course of 5 years, Juno has captured its first image of Jupiter from orbit.

The NASA spacecraft arrived at Jupiter on July 4, but it was unclear whether the camera on board had survived the environment’s extreme radiation until now. The JunoCam captured the image above six days after the craft positioned itself in orbit around the gaseous planet.

The picture, snapped about 2.7 million miles away, provides a clear view of Jupiter’s distinctive Great Red Spot. It also features three of Jupiter’s four largest moons: Io, Europa, and Ganymede.

While the JunoCam's main purpose is to drum up public interest through images documenting the craft's journey, Juno itself is loaded with scientific instruments, like a microwave radiometer for measuring oxygen content and a device for mapping the planet's gravity and magnetic fields. These will be used to gather the bulk of the data.

Juno will orbit the largest planet in our solar system 37 times, getting as close as 2600 miles from the surface during some flybys. You can expect to see the first high-resolution photographs taken from the spacecraft at the end of August. For a time-lapse of Juno's approach to Jupiter, check out NASA's video below.

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