On July 4, NASA’s Juno spacecraft successfully reached Jupiter after a five-year, 445 million mile journey. Now, just a few days after its arrival, Juno has sent back its first in-orbit photo, and she’s a beauty.
“This scene from JunoCam indicates it survived its first pass through Jupiter’s extreme radiation environment without any degradation and is ready to take on Jupiter,” said Scott Bolton, principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.
The photo you see above was taken 2.7 million miles from Jupiter and obtained by NASA over the weekend. While the image shows a planet that’s distinctly Jupiter (you can see its Great Red Spot along with its three moons: Lo, Europa, and Ganymede), NASA says the JunoCam will continue to snap images as the spacecraft goes around in its first orbit.
High-resolution images of the planet will be taken on Aug. 27 once Juno makes a closer pass.
Juno’s missions will take the spacecraft around Jupiter 37 times and get as close as 2,600 miles, allowing it to probe beneath the cloud cover over the Jovian world. The goal is to learn more about the planet’s structure, atmosphere, and magnetosphere, NASA said.