Juno Completes Fifth Jupiter Flyby

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft set for its fifth flyby over Jupiter

JPL-Caltech SwRI MSSS Roman Tkachenko

NASA Juno spacecraft was closest to the gas giant at 4:52 am (0852 GMT) as it skimmed 2,700 miles over Jupiter's cloud tops, travelling about 129,000 mph (208,000 km/h) relative to the planet, the USA space agency officials said.

Jupiter's polar region. Juno acquired this JunoCam image on March 27, 2017.

Juno arrived in Jupiter's orbit on 4th of July last year, after a five-year journey through deep space.

Although the science instruments on board Juno collected data during the first close pass over Jupiter in August, revealing that the planet's magnetic fields and aurora are bigger and more powerful than originally thought, they failed to do so during the second flyby in October, when the spacecraft unexpectedly went into a safe mode. On Monday, March 27, the spacecraft achieved its fifth close flyby of the planet.

All of Juno's eight science instruments will be on and collecting data during the flyby.

Someone even merged all the images from the fifth flyby into a 3D animation, which shows the trip from Juno's viewpoint.

Scott Bolton, the principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, stated that every time the spaceship approaches Jupiter's cloud tops, scientists can observe and find out more data which helps them develop a better understanding of this planet.

Earlier this month, NASA signed four new teams to study components of the solar system. This is because Juno is in an elliptical orbit around Jupiter.

The Juno mission is created to study Jupiter's intense magnetic field and investigate the gas giant's deep interior structure, revealing insights about its atmosphere and probing for a rocky core.

ABOVE IMAGE: Juno acquired this JunoCam image on February 2, 2017 at an altitude of 9,000 miles (14,500 kilometers) above the giant planet's cloud tops.

The NASA Juno Mission will come to an end in February 2018 when the probe will plunge into Jupiter and will intentionally crash-land after 20 months in orbit. At that moment, the spacecraft was some 2,700 miles over the gas giant's cloud tops. This image was processed by citizen scientist John Landino. But a newly released, enhanced-color image of a large dark spot might be the most ethereal of all-its swirling, colorful clouds make it seem like a Jovian Van Gogh.

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