Thursday, February 4, 2016

Juno is five months from Jupiter

With all the satellites and robots currently out in space orbiting around planets and asteroids, flying by others, and even crawling on the surface of one, it's possible to forget that Jupiter is about to get a fully-working visitor this year.  (Galileo, while quite successful, was hamstrung by its partially-opened main antenna.)

According to Space Daily, Juno just completed a trajectory adjustment burn, and is five months and a day away from going into orbit around the Solar System's biggest planet.

And then we will have more chances for amazement.

NASA's Juno spacecraft burns for Jupiter

It seems weird that a satellite will get into the Jupiter system and not get pictures of the moons, but that's what's going to happen.  The JunoCam is mainly going to take pictures of the atmosphere of Jupiter, in spectacular color, including the polar regions.  I guess we'll have to wait longer for more close-ups of Io.

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