Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Monday, 25 July 2016

NASA's Juno Spacecraft Approaches The Planet Jupiter. The Orbiting Jovian Moons Are: Io; Europa; Ganymede; Callisto.

This full-disc image of Jupiter was taken on
21 April 2014 with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).
Author: NASA, ESA, and A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center).
(Wikimedia Commons)

Juno's approach to the planet Jupiter.
Available on YouTube at
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI,

The following Text is from SKY AT NIGHT MAGAZINE

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft is currently in orbit around Jupiter, following its five-year journey from Earth to study the Planet. But what is the Mission’s purpose, and what exactly will it be studying ?

Juno has travelled about 3 billion kilometres to get to Jupiter, launching in August 2011, performing an Earth fly-by in October 2013 and arriving at the Planet on 4 July 2016.

The Spacecraft will now begin orbiting The Gas Giant on a path that will take it over the Planet’s Poles. It will take fourteen days to complete each orbit and will do so thirty-seven times over the course of the Mission, flying low over Jupiter’s Cloud Tops as close as 4,100 km from the surface.

Juno is the first Solar-Powered Spacecraft designed to operate so far from the Sun. Because Jupiter’s orbit is five times farther from the Sun than Earth’s, the Planet receives twenty-five per cent less sunlight, but Juno has been equipped to face this challenge with three solar panels that extend outward to give the Spacecraft an overall span of sixty-six feet.

Ultimately, the Mission will seek to collect data to improve our understanding of how both Jupiter and The Solar System were formed and how they evolved.

Jupiter is an important Planet for Astronomers and Cosmologists because of its relatively massive size, as learning more about Giant Planets can help us understand the Exoplanets and Planetary Systems currently being discovered beyond our own.

Juno will attempt to determine how much water is in Jupiter’s atmosphere, which will tell NASA scientists a lot about how the Planet formed, and it will also measure the temperatures, cloud motions and composition of its atmosphere. It will spend time analysing Jupiter’s magnetic and gravity fields and exploring its magnetosphere, which will reveal information that will help scientists determine the Planet’s interior structure.

This Article can be read in full at SKY AT NIGHT MAGAZINE

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