NASA’s Juno sends its first photo

This color view from NASA’s Juno spacecraft is made from some of the first images taken by JunoCam after the spacecraft entered orbit around Jupiter on July 5th (UTC). Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

A small, dark photograph reveals more than just a planet and three of it’s moons. It shows that NASA has successfully made the first step in learning more about Jupiter than ever before. Juno, a spacecraft no larger than a basketball corse has slipped into orbit and for now, avoided large amounts of radiation that will ultimately destroy it.

Image of Jupiter taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2014. Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Simon

“This scene from JunoCam indicates it survived its first pass through Jupiter’s extreme radiation environment without any degradation and is ready to take on Jupiter,” said Scott Bolton, principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in a press release. “We can’t wait to see the first view of Jupiter’s poles.”

JunoCam is a color, visible-light camera designed to capture pictures of Jupiter’s poles and cloud tops. As Juno’s eyes, it will provide a wide view, helping to provide context for the spacecraft’s other instruments.

 “The first high-resolution images of the planet will be taken on August 27 when Juno makes its next close pass to Jupiter.” said Candy Hansen, Juno co-investigator from the Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Arizona.

While waiting more than a month for updated photos may seem tough, groundbreaking imagery has been NASA’s expertise as of late and this round shouldn’t disappoint.

Story: Free Press Staff