Spectacular cloud formations from the northern hemisphere of the giant gaseous planet, Jupiter, have been captured on camera by Juno, the NASA’s probe. The photograph has been taken on February 7th by Juno on its 11th flyby around Jupiter, the biggest planet in our solar system.
Juno’s 11th overflight around the giant planet happened at a distance of 8,186 kilometers above the upper layers of Jupiter’s atmosphere.
The Juno’s mission
The Juno mission has been launched in August 2011 to collect data about Jupiter and its atmosphere. However, NASA has scheduled to end the JUNO mission in July 2018.
During these short flybys around Jupiter, the probe collects data about the structure of the giant planet, the composition of its atmosphere, and the gravity and magnetic field of the planet.
This information will be interpreted to find out more about the formation and evolution of the giant gaseous planets.
The probe has been placed in Jupiter’s orbit on July 4, 2016.
The Jupiter’s orbit is elongated (elliptical), being completely surrounded by Juno in 53 days. As it flies by in the Jupiter’s orbit, the Juno probe reaches just a few thousand kilometers above the upper layers of the planet’s atmosphere.
Juno is set to take 37 such flies above the Jupiter’s atmosphere.
Juno will plunge through the Jupiter’s atmosphere layers at the end
The mission will end with Juno plunging through the ultra-thin layers of Jupiter’s atmosphere.
Then will be the last time the probe will deliver the precious information about Jupiter’s atmosphere before being crushed by the huge atmospheric pressure.
NASA has made the decision to end this mission to ensure there is no danger to contaminate Jupiter’s satellites which are possibly containing water and microbial life, especially Jupiter’s Europe satellite.
The spectacular clouds formations on Jupiter photographed by NASA Juno probe can be admired in the picture from the beginning of this article.