Friday, October 7, 2022

NASA’s Juno spacecraft clicked a dazzling photo of Jupiter’s moons

Three worlds in the same frame.

On March 16, 2022, NASA has shared new images of Jupiter’s moons Io and Europa. This photo was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft during its 39th close flyby of the planet on January 12, 2022.

During this flyby, the spacecraft was about 61,000 kilometers from Jupiter’s cloud tops, at about 52 degrees south.

The photo offers a dazzling view of Jupiter’s southern hemisphere. Zoomed view of the right portion of the image reveals two more worlds in the same frame: Jupiter’s moon Io (left) and Europa (right).

Jupiter moon io and europa
Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS Image processing by AndreaLuck © CC BY­­

The Io (moon) is the fourth-largest moon in the Solar System. It is the solar system’s most active volcanic body. On the other hand, Europa is the sixth-largest moon in the Solar System. Its icy surface hides a global ocean of liquid water beneath.

In Sept. 2022, Juno will make its closest approach in decades to Europa. Using several scientific instruments will gather much more detailed observations of Europa. The mission will also make close approaches to Io in late 2023 and early 2024.

This image was created using raw data from the spacecraft by the citizen scientist Andrea Luck.

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