JunoCam Photographs Jupiter from Pole to Pole

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Contact: Michael Ravine, ravine@msss.com

JunoCam Photographs Jupiter from Pole to Pole


NASA’s Juno spacecraft completed another of its closest approaches to Jupiter on May 19th. This event marked the fifth orbit where Juno’s science instruments were operating during the periapsis.

Sequence of 14 enhanced-color JunoCam images.
Sequence of 14 enhanced-color images. From left to right, JunoCam views Jupiter’s north pole, equatorial
regions, and south pole as the spacecraft performs a swift dive above the clouds. 
NASA/SWRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstadt/Sean Doran


JunoCam supports both science and the mission’s education and public outreach program. Anyone can actively participate in the mission by voting on which Points Of Interest JunoCam will photograph. There were twenty winning POIs in the perijove 6 voting round. Perijove 6 occurred on May 19th and images were posted online quickly thereafter for the public to download.
Perijove 6 provided remarkable views for the public to process. The orientation (a.k.a. attitude) of the spacecraft was set for gravity studies in order to gain data about the interior structure of the solar system’s greatest gas giant. This meant for more radio contact with the robotic explorer during closest approach. With more radio contact, data storage was less limited and allowed for greater image return. 
"We’re very happy with how the camera is working", said Michael Ravine, the JunoCam instrument project manager. "This sequence is great because it gives you a visual sense of Juno's orbit. We start looking down on the north pole and then get progressively closer till we’re just 3000 miles above the cloud tops. Then we recede till we’re on the other side of the planet from where we started, looking down on the south pole."
JunoCam was derived from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) instrument. The camera acquires red, green, blue wavelength (RGB) images of Jupiter’s polar regions and equatorial cloud tops as Juno soars as close as ~2,100 miles (3,400 kilometers) above the planet.
Launched on an Atlas V on August 5, 2011, the Juno spacecraft cruised to Jupiter for almost five years and arrived in orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016. 
Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) built and operates the Jupiter Orbiter (Juno) camera (JunoCam) in San Diego, California. 
The Juno mission is a project led by Principal Investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) San Antonio, Texas. The Juno mission is part of the New Frontiers Program managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for the Science Mission Directorate. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, is managing the project, and Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver, Colorado, built the spacecraft.

JunoCam's raw images are available at www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam for the public to browse through and process into image products. More information about the Juno mission is online at http://www.nasa.gov/juno and http://missionjuno.swri.edu.



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