A new image captured by NASA’s Juno probe, which studies Jupiter, was recently released by the agency. In the photo you can see the gas giant and one of its moons, Io, the most volcanic body in the Solar System.
According to one declaration issued by the agency, the record was made on July 30, when the spacecraft passed close to Io before its 53rd approach to Jupiter the next day.
The photo shows Jupiter in the foreground with a detailed view of the planet’s colorful cloud bands and swirling spots. Even though only a small fragment of Io appears in the background, its fiery red surface can be seen.
Using raw data from the JunoCam instrument, citizen scientist Alain Mirón Velázquez produced this dramatic vision by enhancing the contrast, color and sharpness of celestial bodies.
According to NASA, the spacecraft was about 51,100 from Io and nearly 350,000 km above Jupiter’s clouds at the time the photo was taken.
Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System, has a total of 95 moons, according to the latest official update. Io, the third largest among these, is 3,643.2 km across, only slightly larger than Earth’s only natural satellite (3,474.8 km) and the fourth largest moon in the Solar System. It is also the closest Galilean satellite to Jupiter, a term that refers to the planet’s four moons which were the first celestial objects to be discovered orbiting an object other than the Sun by Galileo Galilei in 1610.
Io is home to hundreds of volcanoes that regularly erupt, spewing molten lava and spewing plumes of sulfurous gas hundreds of kilometers into the atmosphere. Recent flybys of Io have allowed scientists to study the volcanic moon and its surface in much more detail.
“Juno has provided scientists with their closest view of Io since 2007, and the spacecraft will collect additional images and data from its suite of scientific instruments during even closer flybys in late 2023 and early 2024,” it reads in NASA’s statement.
The images collected by the Juno probe are available online to the public in this link. Open access to the probe’s raw data has allowed citizen scientists to help make thousands of important scientific discoveries since Juno reached Jupiter’s orbit in 2016.
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