NASA's Juno spacecraft has successfully completed a maneuver designed to fine tune its orbit around the Sun, preparing it for a rendezvous with Jupiter in just over five months' time. The probe will be required to undertake one further burn on May 31 in order to complete the fine-tuning of its trajectory.
NASA's unmanned Juno deep space probe may still be over six months away from reaching Jupiter, but it's already flown into the record books. On Wednesday, January 13 at 2:00 pm EST (19:00 GMT) the planetary orbiter became the most distant solar-powered craft from Earth as it passed a point 493 million miles (793 million km) from the Sun. Juno is the ninth deep space probe to visit the outer Solar System and the first to rely on solar panels for power instead of nuclear generators.
In July 2016, Jupiter will welcome NASA's Juno spacecraft, which will boast the dual purpose of unlocking many of the secrets of the enigmatic gas giant, and serving as a tool to bridge the gap between space exploration and the masses. The latter will be achieved with JunoCam, an onboard imaging instrument that will call on the public to serve as a virtual imaging team.
Jupiter's Great Red Spot is a huge spinning mystery where a ferocious storm much larger than the diameter of Earth rages. New ultra high-definition images snapped by the Hubble Telescope have offered a fresh perspective on the Red (or is that Orange) Spot, as well as revealing other intriguing features on the gas giant.
submarines to bouncing rovers, NASA is never short of a crazy idea or
two, and now the agency is looking to explore the potential of using
"windbots" to investigate the skies above Jupiter. The
agency has invested US$100,000 of NIAC funds in the project, which
could potentially revolutionize how we gain data on some of the most
inhospitable planets in our solar system.
A team of international astronomers has discovered a gas giant orbiting a distant star with characteristics remarkably similar to those of our own Jovian planet, Jupiter. The significance of the discovery is that the gas giant was found to orbit roughly the same distance from its host star HIP 11915, as Jupiter does from the Sun. This positioning may have profound implications for creating conditions favorable to the development of a habitable Earth-like planet in HIP 11915's inner solar system.
Even though it is around the same size as our own Moon and a whole lot farther from the Sun, Jupiter's moon Europa is considered one of our solar system's most likely candidates for harboring extraterrestrial life. A deep and mysterious ocean is thought to exist below its icy crust and has beckoned scientists for more than a decade. NASA is in the process of conceptualizing a future mission to explore Europa, and has now confirmed which scientific instruments it will send along to do the job.