Space Sunday: Juno and Jupiter, China, Google and the Moon

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

An artist's impression of Juno firing its main engine at it passes over Jupiter's cloud tops. Credit: NASA An artist’s impression of Juno firing its main engine at it passes over Jupiter’s cloud tops. Credit: NASA

On Thursday, February 1st, 2017, NASA’s Juno spacecraft completed its fourth 53.5 day orbit of Jupiter since its arrival on July 4th, 2016. The vehicle, reached perijove – the point at which it is closest to Jupiter’s cloud tops at 12:57 GMT (07:57  EST), just 4,300 km (2,670 mi) above the cloud top at a velocity of about 208,000 km/h (129,300 mph) relative to the planet.

As there were no plans to utilise the craft’s main engine to slow the craft into a 14-day orbit around Jupiter – a issue with a potentially faulty set of valves in the motor system is still being investigated – the spacecraft was able to conduct a “close-up” data gathering exercise as it swept around Jupiter, gathering data on atmospheric radiation and plasma.

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