The Juno mission launched on August 5, 2011 and arrived in the Jupiter system July 5, 2016 after travelling approximately 2.8 billion kilometres.
The scientific objectives of the mission are to: 1
Determine the ratio of oxygen to hydrogen, effectively measuring the abundance of water in Jupiter, which will help distinguish among prevailing theories linking Jupiter’s formation to the Solar System.
Obtain a better estimate of Jupiter’s core mass, which will also help distinguish among prevailing theories linking Jupiter’s formation to the Solar System.
Precisely map Jupiter’s gravitational field to assess the distribution of mass in Jupiter’s interior, including properties of its structure and dynamics.
Precisely map Jupiter’s magnetic field to assess the origin and structure of the field and how deep in Jupiter the magnetic field is created. This experiment will also help scientists understand the fundamental physics of dynamo theory.
Map the variation in atmospheric composition, temperature, structure, cloud opacity and dynamics to pressures far greater than 100 bars (10 MPa; 1,450 psi) at all latitudes.
Characterise and explore the three-dimensional structure of Jupiter’s polar magnetosphere and auroras.
Measure the orbital frame-dragging, known also as Lense–Thirring precession caused by the angular momentum of Jupiter, and possibly a new test of general relativity effects connected with the Jovian rotation.
Dramatic atmospheric features in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere are captured in this view from NASA’s Juno spacecraft. The new perspective shows swirling clouds that surround a circular feature within a jet stream region called “Jet N6.”
This colour-enhanced image was taken at 9:20 a.m. PST on Feb. 12, 2019 (12:20 p.m. EST), as the spacecraft performed its 18th close flyby of the gas giant planet. At the time, Juno was about 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometres) from the planet’s cloud tops, above a latitude of approximately 55 degrees north.
Citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill created this image using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager. The image has been rotated approximately 100 degrees to the right.
This image of Jupiter’s turbulent southern hemisphere was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it performed its most recent close flyby of the gas giant planet on Dec. 21, 2018.
This new perspective captures the notable Great Red Spot, as well as a massive storm called Oval BA. The storm reached its current size when three smaller spots collided and merged in the year 2000. The Great Red Spot, which is about twice as wide as Oval BA, may have formed from the same process centuries ago.
Juno captured Oval BA in another image earlier on in the mission on Feb. 7, 2018. The turbulent regions around, and even the shape of, the storm have significantly changed since then. Oval BA further transformed in recent months, changing colour from reddish to a more uniform white.
Juno took the three images used to produce this colour-enhanced view on Dec. 21, between 9:32 a.m. PST (12:32 p.m. EST) and 9:42 a.m. PST (12:42 p.m. EST). At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was between approximately 23,800 miles (38,300 kilometres) to 34,500 miles (55,500 kilometres) from the planet’s cloud tops above southern latitudes spanning 49.15 to 59.59 degrees.
Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran created this image using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager.
Clouds in a Jovian jet stream, called Jet N5, swirl in the center of this color-enhanced image from NASA’s Juno spacecraft. A brown oval known as a “brown barge” can be seen in the North North Temperate Belt region in the top-left portion of the image.
This image was taken at 5:58 p.m. PDT on Sept. 6, 2018 (8:58 p.m. EDT) as the spacecraft performed its 15th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time, Juno was 7,600 miles (12,300 kilometers) from the planet’s cloud tops, above a northern latitude of approximately 52 degrees.
Citizen scientists Brian Swift and Seán Doran created this image using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager. The view has been rotated 90 degrees to the right from the original image.
Colourful swirling cloud belts dominate Jupiter’s southern hemisphere in this image captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft.
Jupiter appears in this colour-enhanced image as a tapestry of vibrant cloud bands and storms. The dark region in the far left is called the South Temperate Belt. Intersecting the belt is a ghost-like feature of slithering white clouds. This is the largest feature in Jupiter’s low latitudes that’s a cyclone (rotating with clockwise motion).
This image was taken on Dec. 16, 2017 at 10:12 PST (1:12 p.m. EST), as Juno performed its tenth close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 8,453 miles (13,604 kilometres) from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a latitude of 27.9 degrees south.
The spatial scale in this image is 5.6 miles/pixel (9.1 kilometres/pixel).
Citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill processed this image using data from the JunoCam imager.
See Jupiter’s southern hemisphere in beautiful detail in this new image taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft. The colour-enhanced view captures one of the white ovals in the “String of Pearls,” one of eight massive rotating storms at 40 degrees south latitude on the gas giant planet.
The image was taken on Oct. 24, 2017 at 11:11 a.m. PDT (2:11 p.m. EDT), as Juno performed its ninth close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was 20,577 miles (33,115 kilometres) from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a latitude of minus 52.96 degrees. The spatial scale in this image is 13.86 miles/pixel (22.3 kilometres/pixel).
Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran processed this image using data from the JunoCam imager.