NASA’s Juno spacecraft has revealed an accurate picture of the atmosphere Jupiter and the moons Callisto and Io. The spacecraft’s newly released JunoCam image was taken just under a year ago, as Jupiter-exploring Juno completed its 38th close flyby of the largest planet in our solar system.
Jupiter’s atmosphere and its moons
According to the “Space” website, the image shows the arc of Jupiter’s horizon and the planet’s wavy clouds, while also capturing the moons Io and Callisto, and the image was taken when Juno was about 8,700 miles (14,000 km) above the cloud tops of Jupiter, at a latitude of about 69. degrees, and was traveling at about 123,000 mph (198,000 km/h) relative to the planet, according to a NASA statement.
Scientist Gerald Eichstadt used raw JunoCam data to make the original version of this image, and NASA revealed that another scientist, Thomas Thomopoulos, then processed it, zooming in and making color improvements.
It is worth noting that Juno recently conducted a flyby of another of Jupiter’s four major Galilean moons, the ice-covered ocean world of Europa, and Juno also approached the fourth moon, Ganymede, in April 2021, providing images of the largest moon in the solar system during those the trip.
NASA is providing the JunoCam’s raw images, where they are available for the public to view and process, as the two scientists did with the recently released Juno image from nearly a year’s worth of data.
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