NASA’s Juno spacecraft beams back first images from Jupiter

JunoCam – the camera aboard NASA’s Juno mission – has sent back some of the first images of Jupiter along with three of its four largest moons taken after the spacecraft entered orbit around the king of planets on July 4.

Juno’s visible-light camera was turned on six days after Juno fired its main engine and placed itself into orbit around the largest planetary inhabitant of our solar system.

The first high-resolution images of the gas giant Jupiter are still a few weeks away.

“This scene from JunoCam indicates it survived its first pass through Jupiter’s extreme radiation environment without any degradation and is ready to take on Jupiter”, said Scott Bolton, from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

The new view was obtained when the spacecraft was 4.3 million kilometres from Jupiter on the outbound leg of its initial 53.5-day capture orbit.

The colour image shows atmospheric features on Jupiter, including the famous Great Red Spot, and three of the massive planet’s four largest moons – Io, Europa and Ganymede, from left to right in the image.

(Agency)

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