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  • 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
  • Feature

    Juno is closing in on Jupiter

    Ancient stargazers chose well when they named the solar system’s largest planet, Jupiter, after the king of the Roman gods.

    With more than twice the mass of all the other planets combined, Jupiter reigns supreme. It’s the most influential member of our planetary family — after the sun. Jupiter might have hurled the asteroids that delivered water to Earth, robbed Mars of planet-building...

    06/16/2016 - 10:48 Planetary Science
  • Science Visualized

    The 43-year history of journeys to Jupiter, in one graph

    Since 1973, eight spacecraft have flown past or orbited Jupiter. On July 4, NASA’s Juno probe will become the planet’s ninth visitor.

    Juno’s trajectory is different than all others, as seen in the plot above and in the video. For 20 months, Juno will repeatedly skim the cloud tops, looping over the poles on orbits that are almost perpendicular to Jupiter’s equator.

    Most other...

    06/16/2016 - 10:47 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • News

    Jupiter’s stormy weather no tempest in teapot

    Jupiter’s turbulence is not just skin deep. The giant planet’s visible storms and blemishes have roots far below the clouds, researchers report in the June 3 Science. The new observations offer a preview of what NASA’s Juno spacecraft will see when it sidles up to Jupiter later this year.

    A chain of rising plumes, each reaching nearly 100 kilometers into Jupiter, dredges up ammonia to...

    06/02/2016 - 14:00 Planetary Science