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NASA Released Video of Juno's Final Approach to Jupiter

Jul 04, 2016 11:06 PM EDT
Io Moon Over Jupiter
NASA released a video of Juno's final approach to Jupiter. The video proves that Juno will arrive on its destination planet as planned.
(Photo : NASA/Newsmakers)

After a 5-year grueling journey of about 1.8 billion miles, Juno is about to enter Jupiter's orbit.

On June 21, Juno beamed back a photo of its destination planet surrounded by four of its moons. But earlier, on July 4, NASA released a video of Juno's final approach where the giant gas planet and its moons are visibly moving not too far away from the spacecraft in an amazing display of might.

From the video released by NASA, a half-lit Jupiter was seen, while three prominent moving dots are orbiting the planet. Not too far away, a faint orbiting moon is also visible moving in a coordinated manner around the planet.

The JunoCam aboard the solar-powered spacecraft captured the final approach video of Juno to Jupiter and its moons. This is in the preparation of the Juno's engine burn and breaking maneuver in order to be captured by the planet's gravity to enter Jupiter's orbit.

This is one of the most fascinating moments recorded by Juno during its 5-year journey; JunoCam is expected to send more after it successfully entered Jupiter's orbit on the evening of July 4. 

The moons orbiting Jupiter are Ganymede, lo, Callisto and Europa. Jupiter's moon Europa made news earlier this year when some Earth-like properties, like vast ocean deposits, were observed on the moon.

The video proved that Juno is, no doubt, arriving at its destination on schedule.

"As planned, we are deep in the gravity well of Jupiter and accelerating," Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager said in a press release.

Juno will approach Jupiter's north pole that will give the spacecraft an unprecedented view of the planet. Juno will come close to Jupiter that way no other spacecraft have done before.


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