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NASA’s Juno spacecraft skims past Jupiter’s clouds in new clip


Ride a flyby of Jupiter! NASA’s Juno spacecraft soars just 2,000 miles above the gas giant’s cloud tops in fascinating clip

  • NASA’s new clip shows Juno’s 41st close flyby of Jupiter, taking place on April 9
  • At its closest point, Juno was just over 2,050 miles above Jupiter’s cloud tops
  • Juno was launched in 2011 from Cape Canaveral, Florida to study Jupiter from Earth orbit

NASA has released a new clip of its Juno spacecraft skimming Jupiter’s clouds as it once again flew past the planet.

The new images, captured by Juno on April 9 during its 41st Jupiter flyby, show what it would look like to ride the spacecraft.

At its closest point, Juno was just over 2,300 miles above Jupiter’s colorful cloud tops.

At the time, it was traveling at about 131,000 miles per hour (210,000 kilometers per hour) relative to the planet.

An artist’s impression of NASA’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft with Earth in the background


Distance from Zon: 750 million km

Turnaround time: 12 years

Surface: 61.42 billion km²

Ray: 69,911 km

Mass: 1,898 × ​​​​10^27 kg (317.8 M⊕)

Duration of the day: 0d 9h 56m

moons: 53 with formal designations; countless extra moons

“Civil scientist Andrea Luck created this animated sequence using raw JunoCam image data,” NASA said in a statement.

These raw images are publicly available at NASA Mission Juno webpage

During the April 9 flight, Juno was more than 10 times closer to Jupiter than satellites in geostationary orbit, the space agency also said.

It traveled about five times faster than the Apollo missions in the 1960s and 1970s when they left Earth for the moon.

Juno is a solar-powered spacecraft that spans the width of a basketball court and makes long, looping orbits around Jupiter.

It has three giant blades extending about 20 meters from its cylindrical, six-sided body.

Juno was launched more than a decade ago — on August 5, 2011 — from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to study Jupiter from Earth’s orbit.

The spacecraft successfully entered Jovia’s orbit on July 5, 2016 after a five-year voyage.

Raw images of the Jupiter flyby in April are publicly available on NASA's Mission Juno webpage

Raw images of the Jupiter flyby in April are publicly available on NASA’s Mission Juno webpage

Juno will continue his exploration of the solar system’s largest planet until September 2025, or until the end of the spacecraft’s life.

In June 2021, Juno made a brief flight past Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon and the largest moon in our solar system.

It passed within 645 miles (1,038 kilometers) of the icy moon, which also has its own magnetic field.

Audio picked up by the spacecraft revealed a strange series of beeps and bloops at different frequencies coming from the Jovian moon.

Stunning images were also captured by Juno’s built-in JunoCam imager as it flew past Ganymede at nearly 20 kilometers per second.

How NASA’s Juno Probe to Jupiter Will Reveal the Secrets of the Solar System’s Largest Planet

The Juno probe reached Jupiter in 2016 after traveling five years and 1.8 billion miles from Earth

The Juno probe reached Jupiter in 2016 after traveling five years and 1.8 billion miles from Earth

The Juno probe reached Jupiter on July 4, 2016, after a five-year journey 2.8 billion miles (2.8 billion km) from Earth.

After a successful braking maneuver, it entered a long polar orbit and flew up to 5,000 km from the planet’s swirling cloud tops.

The probe skimmed just 4,200 km from the planet’s clouds once every two weeks — too close to provide global coverage in a single image.

No previous spacecraft has orbited this close to Jupiter, though two others have been sent to their destruction through its atmosphere.

To complete his risky mission, Juno survived a circuit-frying radiation storm generated by Jupiter’s powerful magnetic field.

The maelstrom of high-energy particles traveling at nearly the speed of light is the harshest radiative environment in the solar system.

To cope with the conditions, the spacecraft was protected with special radiation-hardened wiring and sensor shielding.

The all-important “brain” — the spacecraft’s flight computer — was housed in an armored vault made of titanium and weighing nearly 172 kg.

The craft is expected to study the composition of the planet’s atmosphere until 2025.


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