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NASA Lets People Choose the Next Image Site for Juno's Jupiter Flyby

Jan 23, 2017 11:48 AM EST
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Not everyone can become a scientist. But NASA is giving the public a power to decide where in Jupiter should Juno look next.

The agency will let the people choose the next image site for the Jupiter flyby. The agency asked the public to help them identify the specific area to point the JunoCam the next time the spacecraft approaches the planet.
The next flyby is scheduled on Feb. 2. NASA is giving the public a chance to influence this specific space exploration activity. This is also the first time that NASA let the public control the direction of a spacecraft's camera during a flyby.

 "We are looking forward to people visiting our website and becoming part of the JunoCam imaging team," Candy Hansen, Juno co-investigator from the Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Arizona said in a press release. "It's up to the public to determine the best locations in Jupiter's atmosphere for JunoCam to capture during this flyby."

This is probably the best time for scientists and the public to collect information about the giant gas planet as the Juno spacecraft started its close approach to Jupiter since last year. Currently, the spacecraft is on its fourth orbit around the planet.

"The pictures JunoCam can take depict a narrow swath of territory the spacecraft flies over, so the points of interest imaged can provide a great amount of detail," said Hansen in the same report. "They play a vital role in helping the Juno science team establish what is going on in Jupiter's atmosphere at any moment. We are looking forward to seeing what people from outside the science team think is important."

NASA believes that in this way, the scientists will also be able to share the excitement space explorations entail to the public. The Verge reported that there were 21 points to choose from in choosing the next camera target.

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