Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Juno's first in-orbit picture of Jupiter and Galilean Moons is awesome

NASA's Juno spacecraft, now in orbit of Jupiter, has taken its first in-orbit image of the Jovian system. This incredible image was taken by the instrument JunoCam from ~2.7 million miles away from Jupiter.

Here's the information about the image from NASA (taken from the page where you can download the full-size image):
"This color view from NASA's Juno spacecraft is made from some of the first images taken by JunoCam after the spacecraft entered orbit around Jupiter on July 5th (UTC). The view shows that JunoCam survived its first pass through Jupiter's extreme radiation environment, and is ready to collect images of the giant planet as Juno begins its mission.
The image was taken on July 10, 2016 at 5:30 UTC, when the spacecraft was 2.7 million miles (4.3 million kilometers) from Jupiter on the outbound leg of its initial 53.5-day capture orbit. The image shows atmospheric features on Jupiter, including the Great Red Spot, and three of Jupiter's four largest moons.
JunoCam will continue to image Jupiter during Juno's capture orbits. The first high-resolution images of the planet will be taken on August 27 when the Juno spacecraft makes its next close pass to Jupiter.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. The Juno mission is part of the New Frontiers Program managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena."
This picture shows the relative size and structure of Juno and offers information about the instruments. You can find more info on the NASA page for Juno.

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