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NASA Shares 1,300 Photos of Jupiter from Juno's Epic Probe

Jul 21, 2016 01:51 AM EDT

While waiting for Juno's closest rendezvous with Jupiter this August, NASA released 1,300 images from Juno's epic probe to the gas planet 1.8 billion miles away. 

The solar-powered Juno spacecraft traveled in space for five years to reach the biggest and baddest planet in the Solar System, Jupiter. After the journey, the spacecraft successfully entered Jupiter's orbit on July 4 and it has recently initiated the second phase of its mission that will take 37 orbits and 20 months to complete.

But during Juno's approach to Jupiter, as it cruises along the universe, it was able to capture 1,300 raw images of Jupiter and its moons. In the Juno Approach Gallery published by NASA, the untouched images can be downloaded from their website.

"NASA/JPL is excited to share the unprocessed images that comprise the approach movie acquired by JunoCam as the Juno spacecraft approached Jupiter. Collection of the images begun 3 weeks before Juno fired its engines to slow down and be captured into orbit around Jupiter," a NASA official said in a press release where the downloadable links were also announced.

According to NASA, in a span of 17 days, the JunoCam took more than 1,300 images. These were the same images stitched together like a "flip-book" to create the Juno approach movie released earlier this month. From June 12 to June 29, Jupiter's moon Callisto made a complete orbit around Jupiter while the other three large moons made multiple orbits. The JunoCam captured all these movements that made the Juno approach video more interesting to watch.

NASA's rationale in releasing the images is to allow and encourage the public to process the images on their own to create their unique product and of course, for study purposes. But for those who simply don't have the time to browse all 1,300 raw images from Juno's approach, they can watch the video compilation that is the most concise version of all the Juno images released by NASA.

Aside from Jupiter, the Galilean moons made the video more interesting. The images were capture by Juno from its 10-million mile distance from the destination planet and ended when Juno reached the 3-million mile mark. But there's definitely more to Jupiter than the approach itself, but the public will have to wait a little while as the next scheduled activity will be this coming August.


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