Aside from delivering a trove of valuable information about Jupiter and its nearby environment, the Juno probe has also sent back a number of spectacular photos. After entering Jupiter’s atmosphere, getting closer than ever to the gas giant, and having an unprecedented view on Jupiter’s clouds, Juno has quite the stories to share — it’s Jupiter, like you’ve never seen it before.
The $1 million Juno spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 5, 2011 and entered Jupiter’s orbit in 2016. Its major objectives are to understand origin and evolution of Jupiter, look for solid planetary core, map magnetic field, measure water and ammonia in deep atmosphere, observe auroras.
Juno is currently engaged in repeated swings around Jupiter, in a wide arc — to minimize exposure to the planet’s intense radiation belts, which can damage sensitive electronics. NASA planned to fire Juno’s thrusters in October to increase the frequency of these flybys but had to cancel plans due to a malfunction of the engine valves. But that doesn’t prevent Juno from carrying on its mission.
Here, we picked just some of our favorites (sometimes enhanced by photo editing software, check the description). Head on to Juno’s page to check out the full gallery.
Dragos has been working in geology for six years, and loving every minute of it. Now, his more recent focus is on paleoclimate and climatic evolution, though in his spare time, he also dedicates a lot of time to chaos theory and complex systems.