Visualizations shape our perception of space exploration. Whether Pale Blue Dot, Hubble Ultra Deep Field, Earthrise or other countless images captured as part of this great endeavor, they all help to inspire the next generation of explorers. With advances in image capture and processing technology, we can now finally take the next step in these visualizations – video. Ingenuity was videotaped on its maiden flight a few months ago. And this week NASA released a stunning video of Juno’s view of Jupiter and Ganymede, one of his moons, as he passed the gas giant.
The view itself is breathtaking, with lightning bolts on Jupiter’s night side and Ganymede’s textured terrain coming across at full strength. However, Juno was still busy collecting scientific data in addition to these spectacular images.
Video released by NASA from Juno.
Credit – NASA YouTube Channel
After arriving in the Jupiter system in 2016, Juno has spent the past five years swinging his suite of scientific instruments through the system. It occurs on July 20th on its 35th perijove – the point at which it is closest to Jupiter in its orbit – which is also the end of the first mission extension. This mission has now been extended again to September 2025, with more than 40 additional perijoves expected during this period, which more than doubles the current amount of scientific data.
This data transport involved many of the stories that we have already touched on here at UT, including finding a meteorite impact and solving a riddle that Galileo had found. But this new mission expansion allows Juno to do something she has never done before – visit the moons of Jupiter.
The Jupiter system isn’t the only place Juno has his camera turned on. This image of the earth was captured during a gravity-assisted flyby of our planet in 2013.
Photo credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / Kevin M. Gill.
Ganymede, the largest moon in the solar system, is the first and Juno visited it in June. The images are part of NASA’s video, but are also breathtaking as still images. Again, however, Juno’s suite of instruments is not only interested in visible light, but is also collecting data in other spectra, including an attempt to learn more about Ganymede’s potential underground ocean, which is possibly the largest in the solar system.
There are also many other moons in the system to explore. So far we know 79, including some of the most interesting in the entire solar system, such as Io and Europa. With new images coming back of all the additional locations Juno will now visit, we can expect an even more spectacular video with even more celestial bodies before the mission ends in 2025.
CNET – Watch a wondrous NASA flyby video of Jupiter and its moon Ganymede
Business Insider – A captivating NASA video lets you ride the Juno spacecraft as it flies past Jupiter and its largest moon
EarthSky – ride with Juno past Ganymede and Jupiter
Screenshot of the video from Juno NASA that was recently released showing Jupiter as seen about 3 minutes after the video started
Credit – NASA YouTube Channel