Launched on August 5, 2011, Juno was designed to study the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter. The probe has sent much vital information about the planet since it has entered its field. Now Juno has sent a picture of one of the storms on the planet.
Jupiter is known for its massive storms, some of which are much bigger than the earth. There are somewhere from six to nine storms spread over the southern hemisphere of the Jupiter. The storm captured by the spacecraft is one of the storms that are visible on Jupiter. The storms on the huge gas planet are known as the “string of pearls” and were first spotted in 1986.
Juno uses a specially designed camera called JunoCam to capture such amazing shots. It is a visible light camera that gives a wide view and will also contextualise the rest of the space probe’s equipment. NASA added the camera on the probe just as a payload so as to increase public engagement. The JunoCam isn’t considered a scientific instrument but the images taken by it can be of great help to the scientists.
Juno was 24,600 kilometres away from Jupiter when the image was taken. After being launched in 2011, the spacecraft could enter Jupiter’s field of influence only on July 4 this year. The image was captured during Juno’s third orbit around the planet, each orbit spanning 53 days. Juno will make another flyby on February 2 next year. The closest Juno has been to Jupiter was 2580 miles while being at a speed of 129,000 mph, as detailed by NASA.
Lockheed Martin was the company that manufactured Juno and it is a part of the new Frontiers mission. Cassini, another NASA’s spacecraft has been in the orbit of Saturn and it too recently sent images of the hexagonal jet stream around the north pole of the planet.