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NASA’s Juno probe captures Jupiter’s ‘string of pearls’

NASA's Juno spacecraft has captured the seventh of Jupiter's eight features forming a 'string of pearls'.

By: PTI |
December 14, 2016 2:25:54 pm
NASA, NASA Juno spacecraft, Juno solar powered, Juno Jupiter mission, Juno probe, Jupiter Pearl, JunoCam imager, Jupiter string of pearls, Juno captures pearls, Juno onboard instruments, NASA Jet Propulsion lab, science, science news This image, taken by the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft, highlights the seventh of Jupiter’s eight ‘string of pearls’ (Image: NASA)

NASA’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft has captured the seventh of Jupiter’s eight features forming a ‘string of pearls’ – massive counterclockwise rotating storms that appear as white ovals in the gas giant planet’s southern hemisphere.

The image was taken by the JunoCam imager on-board the Juno spacecraft. Since 1986, these white ovals have varied in number from six to nine. There are currently eight white ovals visible.

The image was taken on December 11 as the Juno spacecraft performed its third close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 24,600 kilometres from the planet, NASA said.

JunoCam is a colour, visible-light camera designed to capture remarkable pictures of Jupiter’s poles and cloud tops. As Juno’s eyes, it will provide a wide view, helping to provide context for the spacecraft’s other instruments.

Read: NASA troubleshooting problem with Mars rover drill

JunoCam was included on the spacecraft specifically for purposes of public engagement; although its images will be helpful to the science team, it is not considered one of the mission’s science instruments, NASA said.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

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