NASA’s Juno spacecraft that is orbiting Jupiter from over a year now has beamed back stunning image of the largest planet of our solar system. The spacecraft has shot breathtaking view of southern hemisphere with incredible details that shows the white ovals in the “String of Pearls,” one of eight massive rotating storms at 40 degrees south latitude on the gas giant planet.
The image was captured on Oct. 24, 2017 at 11:11 a.m. PDT (2:11 p.m. EDT) by the JunoCam installed aboard the Juno spacecraft during the ninth close flyby of Jupiter. However, the probe was nearly 20,577 miles far from the planet while taking the shot. Getting into further details, NASA scientists revealed that the Juno was at a latitude of minus 52.96 degrees while clicking the pic. In addition, the spatial scale in this image is 13.86 miles/pixel (22.3 kilometers/pixel).
After receiving the beautiful view, the image was processed by the citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran for the public release.
JunoCam is a color, visible-light camera designed to capture remarkable pictures of Jupiter’s poles and cloud tops. As Juno’s eyes, it will provide a wide view, helping to provide context for the spacecraft’s other instruments. JunoCam was included on the spacecraft specifically for purposes of public engagement; although its images will be helpful to the science team, it is not considered one of the mission’s science instruments.
The Juno spacecraft launched on Aug. 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016. During its mission of exploration, Juno soars low over the planet’s cloud tops — as close as about 2,600 miles (4,100 kilometers). During these flybys, Juno will probe beneath the obscuring cloud cover of Jupiter and study its auroras to learn more about the planet’s origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.
Juno’s name comes from Roman mythology. The mythical god Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief, and his wife — the goddess Juno — was able to peer through the clouds and reveal Jupiter’s true nature.
JPL manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA’s New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages JPL for NASA.
You can see all the images captured by Juno spacecraft here