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Here’s What it Would Be Like to Fly Low Over Jupiter’s Cloudtops

14 Sep 2021, 19:59 UTC
Here’s What it Would Be Like to Fly Low Over Jupiter’s Cloudtops
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During Juno’s extended mission, every orbit is like a new adventure. Each orbit is a little different, and NASA says the natural evolution of Juno’s orbit around the Jupiter provides a wealth of new science opportunities. But for most of us, what we look forward to on every perijove – the point in each orbit where the Juno spacecraft comes closest to the gas giant – are the incredible images taken by the camera on board, JunoCam. As Juno’s “eyes,” the camera provides a unique vantage point no other spacecraft has been able to give us.

Some of the latest images from Juno’s 36th close pass – Perijove 36 – give us a closeup view of skimming over Jupiter’s cloud tops. When the spacecraft comes close to the planet, Jupiter’s powerful gravity accelerates the spacecraft to tremendous speeda – about 200,000 kilometers per hour (~130,000 mph), relative to the planet.

Citizen scientists are the ones who do all the image processing for Junocam, and one of our favorite image wizards, Kevin Gill, doesn’t disappoint with these latest views of from the solar-powered spacecraft zooming over Jupiter’s swirling atmosphere, collecting data from a unique vantage point no other spacecraft has ...

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