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JUNOCAM

Intricate clouds

Intricate cloud patterns in the northern hemisphere of Jupiter taken by Juno spacecraft

See intricate cloud patterns in the northern hemisphere of Jupiter in this new view taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft.

 

The color-enhanced image was taken on April 1 at 11.32 am, as Juno performed its twelfth close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 12,326 kilometers from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a northern latitude of 50.2 degrees. Citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill processed this image using data from the JunoCam imager.

 

 

The probe's journey began just over five years ago, on 5 August 2011, and it arrived at its destination, Jupiter's orbit, on 4 July this year (in Italy, it was at dawn on the following day) after travelling a distance of approximately three billion kilometres. 

 


JUNO's goal is to analyse the Jupiter’s characteristics as representative of the giant planets. The Solar System’s ‘heavyweight’ can, in fact, offer fundamentally important data not only for gaining deeper knowledge of the origin of the System itself, but also for analysing those of the planetary systems that are gradually discovered around other stars, with particular reference to those exoplanets that have a similar mass to that of Jupiter. 

 



JUNO's heart is the Italian JIRAM (Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper), financed by ASI, built by Leonardo-Finmeccanica and operated under the scientific responsibility of INAF's Institute of Astrophysics and Planetology (IAPS). 


JUNO's other Italian component is KaT (Ka-Band Translator), a radio science instrument designed by the 'La Sapienza' University of Rome, built by Thales Alenia Space Italia (A Thales/Leonardo-Finmeccanica company) again with ASI's support.