NASA's Juno spacecraft reaches Jupiter

NASA's Juno spacecraft reaches Jupiter

NASA's Juno spacecraft reaches Jupiter

Confirmation of a successful orbit insertion was received from Juno tracking data monitored at the navigation facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., as well as at the Lockheed Martin Juno operations center in Littleton, Colo. Jupiter's magnetosphere is the largest structure in the universe - five times the distance between the Earth and sun, according to JPL.

Over the next few months, Juno's mission and science teams will perform final testing on the spacecraft's subsystems, final calibration of science instruments and some science collection. We just have to see past all that haze. With a flourish he tore it in half.

"And now the fun begins", said Scott Bolton, Juno Principal Investigator. They were all turned off for the insertion maneuver to reduce the risk of a computer glitch. But now the full set of instruments is being fired up ahead of its first close flyby at the end of August.

Had Jupiter been about 80 times more massive, it would have actually become a star instead of a planet.

Interestingly, Jupiter is so far away from the Earth that messages take around 50 minutes to travel to and from NASA and the probe. This final maneuver is created to ensure that Earth microbes don't contaminate the Jovian moon Europa, which scientists think might be capable of supporting life. Before it reached its current orbit, Juno passed by the four largest moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Juno's primary goal is to improve our understanding of Jupiter's formation and evolution. Those particles could wreak havoc with Juno's electronics.

Lead researcher of Jupiter's auroras, Jonathan Nichols from the University of Leicester, said: "These auroras are very dramatic and among the most active I have ever seen". Why are Jupiter's southern and northern lights the brightest in the solar system?

And the cherry on top was when you announced it to the Twitter-verse with "Engine burn complete and orbit obtained". Scientists want to find out if the gas giant has a solid core and whether its atmosphere contains water.

Juno's body only measures 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) tall and 11.5 feet in diameter. It's able to capture more precise data than the previous spacecraft.

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