On July 4th, NASA’s Juno spacecraft will arrive in orbit around Jupiter for a new scientific mission that seeks to solve the decades-long mystery of what lies beneath the gas giant’s swirling cloud tops. As the latest stunning image from the spacecraft’s approach shows, we’re getting really close.
Juno is closing in on Jupiter’s north pole, affording the spacecraft a sweeping view of the giant and its four largest moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. This portrait was captured from a distance of 6.8 million miles with JunoCam, a citizen science camera that will allow the Jupiter-fearing public to gaze nervously upon the gas giant’s vast ammonia thunderclouds in high-resolution while the radiation-hardened spacecraft maps the planet’s atmosphere and magnetic field over the course of a year.
Gizmodo will be bringing you plenty more information and insights about the Juno mission in the days to come, and covering the spacecraft’s orbital insertion live from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on July 4th.