After safely arriving at Jupiter on July 4, NASA’s Juno spacecraft has sent back the first photograph of the enormous planet.
The photo was taken on July 10 at 1:30 p.m. EDT when Juno was 4.3 million km from Jupiter.
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Clearly visible is the planet’s Great Red Spot, a swirling storm that has been raging for at least 300 years. Three of its largest moons — Io, Europa and Ganymede — are also in the frame.
While this is the first photo and isn’t as spectacular as one might expect, you can expect better images to come.
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“JunoCam will continue to take images as we go around in this first orbit,” said Candy Hansen, Juno co-investigator from the Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Arizona. “The first high-resolution images of the planet will be taken on August 27 when Juno makes its next close pass to Jupiter.”
Juno will orbit Jupiter 37 times, coming as close as 4,100 km above the planet’s cloud tops. It’s mission is to better understand Jupiter as well as the early formation of our solar system.
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