Image: Sequence of Juno spacecraft's close approach to Jupiter

May 26, 2017, NASA
Credit: NASA/SWRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran

This sequence of enhanced-color images shows how quickly the viewing geometry changes for NASA's Juno spacecraft as it swoops by Jupiter. The images were obtained by JunoCam.

Once every 53 days the Juno swings close to Jupiter, speeding over its clouds. In just two hours, the spacecraft travels from a perch over Jupiter's through its (perijove), then passes over the south pole on its way back out. This sequence shows 14 enhanced-color images.

The first image on the left shows the entire half-lit globe of Jupiter, with the north pole approximately in the center. As the spacecraft gets closer to Jupiter, the horizon moves in and the range of visible latitudes shrinks. The third and fourth images in this sequence show the north polar region rotating away from our view while a band of wavy clouds at northern mid-latitudes comes into view. By the fifth image of the sequence the band of turbulent clouds is nicely centered in the image. The seventh and eighth images were taken just before the spacecraft was at its closest point to Jupiter, near Jupiter's equator. Even though these two pictures were taken just four minutes apart, the view is changing quickly.

As the spacecraft crossed into the southern hemisphere, the bright "south tropical zone" dominates the ninth, 10th and 11th images. The white ovals in a feature nicknamed Jupiter's "String of Pearls" are visible in the 12th and 13th images. In the 14th image Juno views Jupiter's south poles.

Explore further: Image: Juno captures Jupiter 'pearl'

Related Stories

Image: Juno captures Jupiter 'pearl'

December 14, 2016

This image, taken by the JunoCam imager on NASA's Juno spacecraft, highlights the seventh of eight features forming a 'string of pearls on Jupiter—massive counterclockwise rotating storms that appear as white ovals in the ...

Image: Colliding weather fronts on Jupiter

April 10, 2017

This image, taken by the JunoCam imager on NASA's Juno spacecraft, highlights a feature on Jupiter where multiple atmospheric conditions appear to collide.

Image: Juno captures Jovian approach

June 28, 2016

NASA's Juno spacecraft obtained this color view on June 21, 2016, at a distance of 6.8 million miles (10.9 million kilometers) from Jupiter. Juno will arrive at Jupiter on July 4.

Image: Crescent Jupiter with the Great Red Spot

January 16, 2017

This image of a crescent Jupiter and the iconic Great Red Spot was created by a citizen scientist (Roman Tkachenko) using data from Juno's JunoCam instrument. You can also see a series of storms shaped like white ovals, known ...

Image: Juno's close look at the Little Red Spot

January 26, 2017

The JunoCam imager on NASA's Juno spacecraft snapped this shot of Jupiter's northern latitudes on Dec. 11, 2016 at 8:47 a.m. PST (11:47 a.m. EST), as the spacecraft performed a close flyby of the gas giant planet. The spacecraft ...

Recommended for you

Hunting molecules to find new planets

June 19, 2018

It's impossible to obtain direct images of exoplanets as they are masked by the high luminous intensity of their stars. However, astronomers led by UNIGE propose detecting molecules present in the exoplanet's atmosphere in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.