When NASA’s Juno spacecraft makes its next close pass of Jupiter, the agency plans on snapping pictures of the gas giant. But where NASA aims the spacecraft’s JunoCam is entirely up to you.
The Juno flyby will occur on February 2, a few weeks from today, and begin taking photos as it approaches Jupiter’s north pole. The exact points of interest to be photographed will be determined by the public, according to NASA, with voting taking place on Juno’s mission page.
“The pictures JunoCam can take depict a narrow swatch of territory the spacecraft flies over, so the points of interest imaged can provide a great amount of detail,” explained Candy Hanses, Juno co-investigator. “They play a vital role in helping the Juno science team establish what is going on in Jupiter’s atmosphere at any moment.”
When Juno makes its flyby next month, its closest approach will occur at 4:58 a.m. PST, at a distance of about 2,700 miles. Here, JunoCam will get a good look at about 20 different points of interest, ranging from “String of Pearls” to “Turbulence.” You can learn more about each hot spot by going to the voting page right here.
It’s a fun opportunity
JunoCam comes with a color, visible-light camera capable of capturing the planet’s unique atmosphere. NASA said JunoCam was primarily included for community engagement, though the images are also important for scientific investigation.
Head on over to NASA’s Juno page and start voting.