The US space agency NASA’s Juno spacecraft successfully arrived on the largest planet of our solar system — Jupiter on July 4. Within the week of arrival, NASA has released the first click of Jupiter.
Scientists at the American space agency revealed that the spacecraft suffered extreme heat and radiation while entering the orbit. Therefore, scientists switched off the camera and packed it inside just to prevent any mishap or damage to the camera. It took nearly a week for everything to settle down and open the camera to capture the first images of Jupiter.
All the external equipment of the spacecraft were turned odd to ensure the successful insertion in the orbit, said Scot Bolton, the Principal Investigator and fellow at Southwest Research Institue in San Antonio.
On July 10, the Juno spacecraft clicked the first image at a distance of 2.7 million miles. The colorful image shows atmosphere and special characteristics of the gigantic planet like the giant red spot, fast moving volcanoes. In addition, we can also see three most famous moons of Jupiter – IO, Europa and Ganymede.
Juno mission is aimed at measuring the magnetic field, gravitational field, composition, radiation belts and auroras that occur on Jupiter. The spacecraft boasts several cameras but has only one colored image snapper. Named as the JunoCam the color camera is the biggest eye of Juno which will help in capturing detailed images of Jupiter.
According to NASA scientists, they will soon release high-resolution images of the planet in the coming few weeks. The spacecraft will make next close encounter with the planet on Aug 27.
As of now, Juno takes 53.5 days to complete its one elongated orbit around Jupiter. “JunoCam will continue to take images as we go around in this first orbit,” said Candy Hansen, Juno co-investigator from the Planetary Science Institute, in a NASA news release. “The first high-resolution images of the planet will be taken on August 27 when Juno makes its next close pass to Jupiter.”
First mission to Jupiter was conducted 45 years ago and since then seven mission have been started to explore the largest planet of our solar system. Juno is the best possible attempt by the scientists to explore the planet and gather necessary information.