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NASA Space

NASA Releases Juno's First Stunning Close-Ups of Jupiter's Giant Storm ( 55

NASA's Juno spacecraft has sent back the first photos from its close flyby over Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot. These images offer the closest ever view of the massive storm. The Verge reports: Juno has been orbiting Jupiter for a little over a year on a mission to study the planet's interior, atmosphere, and magnetosphere. Its elliptical orbit around the planet takes the probe close to the surface for a few hours every 53 days. These are called perijove passes -- and on July 10th, Juno completed its seventh. A little after its closest approach, Juno's camera, JunoCam, snapped a few shots of the storm from about 5,000 miles above. Typically, a team of NASA scientists chooses which images a spacecraft collects on its path around a planet. But with Juno, NASA's opened up the process to the public: space fans can weigh in on the photos JunoCam shoots by ranking their favorite points of interest. After the photos are taken, NASA releases the raw images for the public to process. People can crop them, assemble them into collages, and change or enhance the colors. The results are mesmerizing. You can view even more photos here.
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NASA Releases Juno's First Stunning Close-Ups of Jupiter's Giant Storm

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  • Radiation (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 ) on Thursday July 13, 2017 @07:04AM (#54799361)

    I find it amazing that the probe is able to take the beating of passes that close to the planet, given the significant amount of radiation exposure that entails. Awesome pics!

    • It's not just radiation. Thanks to Io's volcanoes there's a lot of sulfur dioxide trapped in the magnetosphere which by the way reaches almost as far as Saturn's orbit.
    • Re:Radiation (Score:5, Informative)

      by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Thursday July 13, 2017 @07:38AM (#54799445)
      The probe will fail due to radiation exposure, but the orbit was designed to minimize that. The main radiation belts are farther out, and the polar orbit actually avoids the highest concentration zones. An explanation: "The orbits were carefully planned in order to minimize contact with Jupiter's dense radiation belts, which can damage spacecraft electronics and solar panels, by exploiting a gap in the radiation envelope near the planet, passing through a region of minimal radiation. The "Juno Radiation Vault", with 1-centimeter-thick titanium walls, also aids in protecting Juno's electronics. Despite the intense radiation, JunoCam and the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) are expected to endure at least eight orbits, while the Microwave Radiometer (MWR) should endure at least eleven orbits. Juno will receive much lower levels of radiation in its polar orbit than the Galileo orbiter received in its equatorial orbit. Galileo was damaged by radiation during its mission, including an LED diode in its data recording system."
      • Re:Radiation (Score:5, Informative)

        by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Thursday July 13, 2017 @10:03AM (#54800115) Homepage

        The probe will fail due to radiation exposure, but the orbit was designed to minimize that.

        Right. Here's a good picture of the perijove, skimming in under the radiation belts: []

        Note that each orbit the perijove has precesses slightly (due to perturbations because Jupiter is not perfectly spherical), so after some time the orbit will go through (instead of under) the belts.

        Here's an "infographic" with more information: []

  • Best weather reporting of the year.

  • Do they have a GoFundMe page for their next picture-taking trip?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      It's too early to know because the Juno pics have yet to be re-reprocessed, combined, and enhanced to their fullest.

      Here's the results of an amateur's re-processing of Voyager photos. [] Great PC wall-paper.

      An amateur has more freedom to tease out detail than NASA, who could risk being accused of "embellishing" if they overdo it. You can't fire an amateur/hobbyist.

      Source: []

      By the way, the Great Red Spot has shrunk by about 20% since Voyager.

  • To put the distance over the great red spot in context, it's the equivalent of taking a photograph of Buenos Aires, or Cairo, or Jerusalem, from New York City.

    From New York City, all of Canada, North and Central America, most of South America, all of Europe, and the vast majority of Russia are all contained within that distance. (ie, all of those places would be closer to you than the red spot was from Juno as it passed overhead).

    In terms of orbital distances:
    - geostationary orbit around the Earth (where a

  • waiting for a storm to clear on Jupiter?

  • Actual Photos (Score:4, Informative)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Thursday July 13, 2017 @01:19PM (#54801709)

    If you want the actual photos without all of the fake assery all the links show you, click this: https://www.missionjuno.swri.e... []

  • Congratulations to Juno. Just think: Only yesterday they were a forgettable email program, and now they're traveling to Mars. Isn't technology great?
  • Yet another example of a space mission with real scientific value where sending a human was unnecessary and would have been detrimental. If the US public would get over its obsession with spam-in-a-can, we could have a hundred times as many projects like this.
    • by Strider- ( 39683 )

      Robotic exploration is absolutely the right tasks for this bit of exploration, if only due to the radiation environment around Jupiter. I don't think anyone argues that robotic missions don't have value.

      As a comparison, lets look at the Curiosity rover on mars. As of Late January this year, it had driven a total of 15km on Mars in roughly 1700 days. It's done a lot of really great work, but it's slow, painstaking, and somewhat limited. If you were to put a human field geologist on Mars, with an appropriate

      • by Anonymous Coward

        "The United States didn't fund the Apollo mission to collect science data on the moon, they did it to beat the Russians."
        And the US will go back to the Moon or Mars no matter the cost to beat China or Russia. The government can spend any amount of money they want with buy in from the public. There were government officials opposed to spending the money to go to the moon but the US vs. Russia angle got the public buy in and the Senators who did not want to spend the money had no choice but to agree or face a

    • If the US public would get over its obsession with spam-in-a-can, we could have a hundred times as many projects like this.

      Not really. No money is actually being spent on manned missions to other planets, so if it was all shifted to probe based missions, it still wouldn't be any more. They talk about manned missions a lot but the matter of the fact is that we aren't spending money on the wrong priorities, but just simply aren't spending money.

      • There has been plenty of money spent on manned missions. $78B on the ISS. $40B on SLS (and still no vehicle to show for it). Those two alone would be enough to fund 100 Juno missions.

"Wish not to seem, but to be, the best." -- Aeschylus