NASA’s Juno spacecraft makes close flyby of Jupiter
There is a special camera on the Juno spacecraft that is know as the JunoCam. This special camera is taking images of Jupiter with the help of NASA and citizen scientists.
On a recent flyby of the gas giant, the NASA spacecraft caught some amazing images of the Jovian South Pole, a feature-rich region sometimes referred to as the Antarctica of Jupiter.
This is a region of Jupiter that, until recently, was not easily observed from Earth or previous spacecraft.
Juno passed the cloud tops of Jupiter at a relatively close distance of 46,000 miles, revealing some amazing images of swirling clouds of methane and ammonia gas.
The spacecraft then closed in to take more photos just some 2,600 miles above the cloud tops.
Juno is locked into an orbit that takes some fifty-three days to complete. The next opportunity NASA — and you — will get to view the planet at such close distances will begin around March 10.
This is a very exciting time to get involved with Jupiter, right from your phone or computer.
You can actually download images from JunoCam, review and edit them and vote on what images you would like the Juno team to take!
For those who want to keep an eye on the planet from Earth, it is visible in the Arizona sky and rises in the east around 11 p.m.
Get your very own Dr. Sky February star chart.
- Canopus, second-brightest star in night sky, visible from Arizona
- Venus, goddess of love, to return to evening sky for Valentine’s Day
- So-called super blue blood moon to reveal itself in Arizona this week
- Catch a glimpse of marvelous Orion Nebula from your Arizona yard
- Arizona skywatchers will be treated by Mars, Jupiter and moon this month