Stunning images of Jupiter captured by NASA's Juno as it reaches halfway point
Washington, Dec 14: NASA's Juno spacecraft is returning stunning images of Jupiter's rings, auroras, lightning, and even its moonlit dark side.
Juno's other instruments have provided incredible views of the planet's auroras in ultraviolet and infrared light, but because of its dark-side views, SRU has been able to contribute in the visible spectrum, too, showing the ghostly lights circling the planet's pole.
NASA's Juno mission to cross halfway to Jupiter
This month, NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter has reached its halfway mark and has revealed new views of cyclones at the gas giant's poles. As it orbits the planet every 53 days - Juno performs a data-gathering dive, speeding from pole to pole.
Juno to dive above Jupiter's cloud
On Dec 21, Juno will be 3,140 miles above Jupiter's cloud tops and hurtling by at a healthy clip of 128,802 mph, NASA says. This will be the solar-powered spacecraft's 16th science pass of the gas giant.
Juno probe reveals more of Jupiter's surprises:
Juno is in a highly-elliptical 53-day orbit around Jupiter. Each orbit includes a close passage over the planet's cloud deck, where it flies a ground track that extends from Jupiter's north pole to its south pole.
About NASA's Juno spacecraft:
The $1.1 billion Juno mission launched toward Jupiter in August 2011 and arrived in orbit around the planet in July 2016. Since then, it's examined the planet during its long, looping orbits to learn about its interior, cloud patterns and weather, magnetic field, radiation and more. Launched on Aug. 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the spacecraft entered orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016 and began data collection on an Aug. 27, 2016, flyby.