Category Archives: Juno

Juno Parting Look


Here’s an image from Juno after its first encounter with Jupiter. The image was taken on 10 July 2015, just days after the 05 July (UTC) encounter. The spacecraft was 2.7 million miles (4.3 million kilometers) from Jupiter at time.

The first high resolution images are due around 27 August when the second orbit is underway. The spacecraft’s camera was turned away from Jupiter during the initial orbit – nothing was taken for granted the first time around.

We can see the Great Red Spot in this image and three of the four Galilean moons, in order from left to right: Io, Europa, Ganymede.
Click the image above for a larger version; an annotated version can be seen here.

Juno images are available courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS



This is the final view taken by the JunoCam instrument on NASA’s Juno spacecraft before Juno’s instruments were powered down in preparation for orbit insertion. Juno obtained this color view on June 29, 2016, at a distance of 3.3 million miles (5.3 million kilometers) from Jupiter.

Juno is now in orbit around Jupiter and is apparently working perfectly!

Confirmation of a successful orbit insertion was received from Juno tracking data monitored at the navigation facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, as well as at the Lockheed Martin Juno operations center in Denver. The telemetry and tracking data were received by NASA’s Deep Space Network antennas in Goldstone, California, and Canberra, Australia.New Horizons


Update on Juno

The Juno spacecraft is doing great.

Juno has passed Callisto and Ganymede and will pass  Europa in an hour and a half (so that’s around 17:30 UT and then finally Io shortly after that.

The rings of Jupiter although small do possibly pose a hazard, it’s a gamble according to Dr. Scott Bolton (Juno Mission team).  It’s a unknown because we do not know how near the planet the ring extends and we will be on the inside of the known ring plane.

Another unknown will occur later at  19:30 PDT / 03:30  UTC (5 July) and that’s when Juno flies through the intense radiation although hopefully not through the very worse of it for very long.  Will the shielding protect the electronics?

No approach pictures?  No, basically all science instruments are off this time around because that burn is job number one.  The spacecraft will be rotated in such a way the solar panels are not aimed at the sun during the very first pass.

So we have: then engine burn, the radiation belts and the rings to get through.  Good luck Juno!!

Five Facts About the Juno Mission

Five facts about the Juno mission from the BBC.  The video astutely points out, the deal is not done.  The mission is depending on the insertion burn to be successful.

So important is the burn mission managers plan on turning OFF certain features of the on-board computer system just in case some sort of computer anomaly or system restart might interrupt the 35 minute “braking” burn.  The burn is scheduled to begin at 00:18 on 05 July / 20:18 PDT 04 July.

By the way that engine used for the orbital insertion is the LEROS rocket engine manufactured by Moog ISP Westcott United Kingdom.

I should have a mission update shortly after 16:15 UT.



The Juno Approach Movie

As Juno approached Jupiter a series of images were taken between the dates of 10 June to 23 June. We can see the motions of the four Galilean moons.

Notice the moon Callisto, the outermost of the four, it is much dimmer than might be expected and becomes one of the first questions for the mission scientists.

The science instruments will be turned on in a couple of days and the next close encounter between Juno and Jupiter comes at the end of August.


The Roar of Jupiter

The video represents two events for the Juno spacecraft. The first event is when the Wave instrument aboard Juno crosses the bow shock of Jupiter on 24 June. The bow shock is where the solar wind interacts with the magnetic field of Jupiter, the solar wind is slowed and heated by the planets magnetic field – think of something like a sonic-boom.

The second is the crossing of the magnetopause the boundary between the magnetic fields of the Sun and Jupiter on 25 July.   The representation is very 1950’s sci-fi, it’s great.


The Great Red Spot


In this image of Jupiter taken from the Juno cam on 28 June 2016 we can see the Great Red Spot of coming into focus.  As is the case for most images posted here you can click it for a larger version.

The image was acquired from 6.2 million km / 3.9 million miles away as the spacecraft approaches the planet towards the north pole.  The gap between Jupiter and the Juno spacecraft will quickly diminish and in just a few days the spacecraft will begin orbiting the giant planet.

The moons we can see are in order from Left to Right: Ganymede, Io, Europa.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS


Almost Home for Juno


This view of Jupiter was taken from the Juno spacecraft on 21 June 2016 as it approaches the giant planet. The distinctive banding of the planet is becoming evident and we can easily see the four major moons and they are, in order from left to right: Ganymede, Callisto, Io and Europa. You can see these moons from Earth with just a pair of binoculars too, give it a try.

Juno is approaching Jupiter over the north pole so we are going to get a very different perspective than we got from other missions.

If you are thinking the image is a little blurry no to worry; Junocam is designed to take high resolution images of the Jovian atmosphere and not distance shots. This image was taken from 10.9 million km / 6.8 million miles.

One week to go!

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS