Ready or Not Here Comes Juno

Ready or not, Juno is about to sweep to 4,200 km / 2,500 miles above the clouds of Jupiter at a velocity of 208,000 km/hr  or 130,000 miles/hr. The encounter will occur Saturday at 12:51 UTC.

The image below was taken on 23 August at a distance of 4.4 million km / 2.8 million miles as Juno continued towards Jupiter on this initial orbit.

junoinbound1

The caption released with the image:

This dual view of Jupiter was taken on August 23, when NASA’s Juno spacecraft was 2.8 million miles (4.4 million kilometers) from the gas giant planet on the inbound leg of its initial 53.5-day capture orbit.

The image on the left is a color composite taken with Junocam’s visible red, green, and blue filters. The image on the right was also taken by JunoCam, but uses the camera’s infrared filter, which is sensitive to the abundance of methane in the atmosphere. Bright features like the planet’s Great Red Spot are higher in the atmosphere, and so have less of their light absorbed by the methane.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. The Juno mission is part of the New Frontiers Program managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

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