NASA's Juno Spacecraft Completes Fifth Flyby Of Jupiter

NASA's Juno to make its fifth flyby over Jupiter's mysterious cloud tops on Monday

"Every time we get near Jupiter's cloud tops, we learn new insights that help us understand this unbelievable giant planet", Bolton was quoted in NASA's release. During its mission of exploration, Juno soars low over the planet's cloud tops as close as about 2,600 miles (4,100 kilometers). The craft's next flyby won't happen until late May 2017, so it's a rare and exciting event when one of these close passes goes by without a hitch. Just south of the dark storm is a bright, oval-shaped storm with high, bright, white clouds, reminiscent of a swirling galaxy.

Scientist Roman Tkachenko worked to enhance the color in the image to bring out the detail.

Part of Jupiter's 'string of pearls.' Juno captured this image with its JunoCam instrument on March 27, 2017.

All of Juno's eight science instruments will be on and collecting data during the flyby.

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NASA's Juno spacecraft sailed over Jupiter's cloud tops early Monday, the fourth time the solar-powered probe has approached the giant planet and collected science data since its arrival last July 4. The planet's distinctive colorful belts and zones extend deep inside the atmosphere, and Juno's data haul suggests Jupiter's powerful auroras might be linked to volcanoes on the moon Io, scientists said.

"On July 4, 2016, NASA Juno spacecraft was placed in orbit around Jupiter after it made a 5-year journey through the deep space". The JunoCam atop the NASA Juno spacecraft has meanwhile, clicked close-up pictures of the planet.

NASA Juno probe's close encounters with Jupiter take place only once in every 53 days as the spacecraft is in a highly elliptical orbit around the planet.

Juno will now accomplish around 11 science orbits by the end of February 2018, enough for it to complete its "minimum science" requirements, according to Jim Green, head of NASA's planetary science division.

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Juno's mission is to measure Jupiter's composition, gravity field, magnetic field, and polar magnetosphere.

Juno is the second spacecraft to orbit Jupiter, after the nuclear powered Galileo orbiter, which orbited from 1995 to 2003.

All eight of Juno's science instruments will remain switched on during the flyby, which comes nearly two months after the previous one.

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