Juno peeks behind Jupiter’s clouds

Named for the wife of the Roman god of the sky, the NASA spacecraft Juno arrived at Jupiter on July 4. Its mission is to study the planet's magnetic field, composition and interior structure and potentially reveal the basic recipe for solar systems like our own.

What makes Jupiter so hard to study?

Jupiter's magnetic field traps particles in intense radiation belts near the planet, creating a hazard for any visiting spacecraft.

How did Juno get to Jupiter?

TIPS

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2

Oct. 2013

Jupiter’s

orbit

Earth flyby

maneuver gives

Juno the velocity

boost it needs to

coast to Jupiter

Earth’s

orbit

Sun

1

Aug. 2011

Juno launches and spends

next two years to set up

for the Earth flyby

3

July 2016

Juno arrives at Jupiter

Planets not drawn to scale

3

Oct. 2013

Earth flyby maneuver gives

Juno the velocity boost it

needs to coast to Jupiter

1

Aug. 2011

Sun

Jupiter’s

orbit

Earth’s

orbit

Juno launches and begins

journey to Jupiter

2

Juno spends two years in

deep-space maneuvers to

set up an Earth flyby

4

July 2016

Juno arrives at Jupiter

Planets not drawn to scale

Oct. 2013

3

Earth flyby maneuver gives

Juno the velocity boost it

needs to coast to Jupiter

1

Aug. 2011

Sun

Juno launches and begins

journey to Jupiter

Jupiter’s

orbit

Earth’s

orbit

2

Juno spends two years in

deep-space maneuvers to

set up an Earth flyby

July 2016

4

Juno arrives at Jupiter

Planets not drawn to scale


How will Juno orbit the planet?

Juno is the first spacecraft to study Jupiter's poles. It will approach the planet from the north and then fly south, coming within 2,600 miles of the surface. The satellite will pass over a different section with each orbit, allowing it to map the entire planet.

juno-webAs Juno spins twice per minute, its instru-ments will sweep across Jupiter hundreds of times in the two hours it takes to fly from the north pole to the south pole.