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  • Science Visualized

    See the latest stunning views of Jupiter

    Once every 53 days, Jupiter pulls Juno close. Locked in orbit since July 2016, the spacecraft has made five close flybys of the planet so far. More than 1,300 Earths could fit inside Jupiter, but Juno takes only two hours to zip from pole to pole. That mad, north-to-south trek is shown below in a sequence of 14 enhanced-color images taken May 19.

    Each image’s width corresponds to the...

    06/16/2017 - 09:00 Planetary Science
  • News

    Juno spacecraft reveals a more complex Jupiter

    Jupiter’s scientific portrait is getting repainted.

    NASA’s Juno spacecraft swooped within about 5,000 kilometers of Jupiter’s cloud tops on August 27, 2016, giving scientists their first intimate look at the gas giant. The data are revealing surprising details about Jupiter’s gravity, powerful magnetic field and ammonia-rich weather system. The findings, which appear in two studies in...

    05/25/2017 - 14:14 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    Juno spacecraft won’t go into shorter orbit around Jupiter

    NASA’s Juno spacecraft will stay in its current 53-day orbit around Jupiter instead of closing into a 14-day orbit as originally planned, the Juno team announced February 17.

    An issue with two helium check valves, which are tied to the spacecraft’s main engine, had scientists concerned. The valves took several minutes to open when the team pressurized the spacecraft’s propulsion system...

    02/17/2017 - 16:02 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • Science & the Public

    Citizen scientists are providing stunning new views of Jupiter

    Stormy, with a good chance of cyclones. That’s the forecast for Jupiter’s south pole — a region never seen before but quickly coming into focus with the help of citizen scientists.

    Music producer Roman Tkachenko’s edited image of Jupiter’s nether regions (featured above) is a perfect example. His enhancements make the swirling cyclones and white oval storms really pop compared with the...

    02/17/2017 - 06:00 Astronomy, Technology
  • Science Ticker

    Juno spacecraft goes into ‘safe mode,’ continues to orbit Jupiter

    PASADENA, Calif. — NASA’s Juno spacecraft, in orbit around Jupiter since July 4, is lying low after entering an unexpected “safe mode” early on October 19. A misbehaving valve in the fuel system, not necessarily related to the safe mode, has also led to a delay in a planned engine burn that would have shortened the probe’s orbit.

    Juno turned off its science instruments and some other...

    10/19/2016 - 18:57 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Juno transmits first intimate snapshots of Jupiter

    Swirling clouds blanket Jupiter’s northern and southern poles in the first closeup images of the planet taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft. Such intimate views of Jupiter have never been seen before.

    Juno snapped a shot of the gas giant’s northern side in an August 27 flyby, from a distance of 195,000 kilometers. The prominent bands that ring Jupiter’s middle fade at the poles, replaced...

    09/02/2016 - 16:07 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Juno snaps its first pic of Jupiter

    NASA’s Juno spacecraft has sent back its first picture of Jupiter since arriving at the planet July 4 (SN: 7/23/16, p. 14). The image, taken July 10 when the spacecraft was 4.3 million kilometers from Jupiter, shows off the planet’s clouds, its Great Red Spot (a storm a bit wider than Earth) and three of its moons (Io, Europa and Ganymede).

    Juno is on the outbound leg of its first of two...

    07/13/2016 - 16:39 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    The Juno spacecraft is now in orbit around Jupiter

    Jupiter has a new visitor.

    After nearly five years and 2.8 billion kilometers in space, NASA’s Juno probe — a mission to investigate Jupiter’s deep interior — has safely arrived at the giant planet.

    Juno will spend the next 20 months orbiting Jupiter, figuring out how much water vapor hides beneath the clouds, mapping the planet’s internal structure and probing its vast magnetic...

    07/04/2016 - 23:58 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    Juno spacecraft is on its final approach to Jupiter

    All systems are go for the Juno spacecraft’s July 4 encounter with Jupiter.

    “We couldn’t be more excited about being this close to Jupiter’s doorstep,” said Diane Brown, Juno program executive at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., during a June 30 news briefing.

    The scientific instruments have been shut off and the final command sequence for going into orbit around Jupiter has...

    06/30/2016 - 15:42 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    Jupiter shows off its infrared colors

    No, that’s not the sun. It’s Jupiter, ablaze with infrared light in new images taken in preparation for the Juno spacecraft’s July 4 arrival at the king of the planets. This image shows how heat welling up from deep within the planet gets absorbed by gas in the atmosphere, which can tell researchers how stuff moves around beneath Jupiter’s thick blanket of clouds. Juno won’t look for infrared...

    06/28/2016 - 05:30 Planetary Science