Over the weekend, NASA's Juno grazed over Jupiter to complete the first, and closest yet, of the planned 36 orbital flybys which will happen during the probe's mission duration.
After a long journey of 5 years, Juno has arrived at Jupiter's orbit last July 4, so far this would be its closest attempt, in terms of distance, of the missions entirety. The spacecraft hovered over the clouds of Jupiter, with the speed of 130,000 mph (208,000 km/h) and the very close distance of 2,600 mi (4,200 km).
Juno had all of its scientific instruments functional, a first in the mission. It will be a while before the image data from the flyby
will be available for public viewing as per researchers' statement.
Scott Bolton stated
Close-up of Jupiter via Flickr.
that they are getting some intrigue from early image data broadcasts. He added that it will take days and days for all scientific data to complete its broadcast back to earth and even more time to understand what the data is all about.
It is reported that HD images will be released as the result of the flyby via the spacecrafts's visible-light camera -- JunoCam
. These images should be ready for the public promising to be the most detailed views of Jupiter's atmosphere as stated by NASA officials.
Bolton added, "We are in an orbit nobody has ever been in before
, and these images give us a whole new perspective on this gas-giant world."
Juno continues to collect data about Jupiter's atmosphere magnetic fields, formation history, and of course -- weather until 2018 as scheduled. The spacecraft will then plunge to its demise into the harsh environment of Jupiter, collecting data as it rides to the sunset. Because of this, scientists will have a plethora of data to study about Jupiter for years to come.
How do you feel about this achievement? Leave your comments below.