Image credit: Cassini
NASA’s Juno solar probe, which orbits Jupiter, just sent spectacular images after a pole-to-pole trip.
With three giant swords that extend about 20 meters from its six-sided cylindrical body, the Juno spacecraft, which makes oval orbits around Jupiter, has just completed its 35th flyby and of which NASA has revealed remarkable photographic material.
First of all, it must be said that the Juno is currently 628 million kilometers away, after leaving Earth on August 5, 2011, from the base of Cape Canaveral.
For now, using its green filter, the spacecraft’s JunoCam visible-light imager captured 34 minutes of images through NASA’s Deep Space Network after a three-hour walkthrough of the flyby.
The images of the southern tropical region of Jupiter resulting from flyby 35 (or # perijove35), published by NASA on the Juno mission website, were processed by various citizen scientists and revealed through Twitter.
The photos are in keeping with the latest finding from the solar probe, the trigger for powerful radio emissions within the planet’s powerful magnetic field, which is about 20,000 times stronger than Earth’s.
The Juno Waves instrument recorded radio emissions from Jupiter’s magnetic field to find their precise locations by listening to the shower of electrons flowing toward the planet from its volcanic moon Io.
NASA’s Juno mission as it passes through Ganymede
The Juno spacecraft, at the beginning of the month, flew near Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon, and also offered numerous images of its dramatic icy surface.
“This is the closest a spacecraft has gotten to this gigantic moon in a generation,” said Juno principal investigator Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.
“We are going to take our time before drawing scientific conclusions, but until then we can just marvel,” he added.
For its part, Juno’s Stellar Reference Unit, a navigation camera that maintains the ship’s heading, provided a black and white image of the dark side of Ganymede (the side opposite the Sun), with a resolution of 600 to 900 meters per pixel.