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NASA’s JunoCam Grabs Beautiful Images of Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede During Flyby

mars moon ganymede

Juno's JunoCam visible imager captured four images of Ganymede on June 7, on its 34th pass close to Jupiter.  This mosaic was processed from two of the images by citizen scientist Björn Jónsson. 

 

NASA’s Juno spacecraft made a recent flyby of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, passing just 645 miles above the surface of the Solar System’s largest moon, that resulted in beautiful images and new data.  Juno has been in orbit around Jupiter since 4 July 2016, but this was the first pass close to one of Jupiter's large moons. 

In 1979 Candice Hansen was working for the Voyager imaging team when the first close-up images of Ganymede to be seen by humankind were downlinked by from the Voyager spacecraft as it flew past Jupiter.

Now, 42 years later, Hansen is a Senior Scientist at PSI and lead scientist on Juno’s JunoCam instrument that took stunning new images.  Some portions of the existing Ganymede map from the Voyager and Galileo missions will be replaced with the higher quality JunoCam images. "The new images are just breath-taking," Hansen said.

Hansen and PSI Senior Research Associate Leslie Vittling worked with colleagues to add a new spacecraft capability for timing of JunoCam images specifically for the Ganymede flyby and future flybys of Jupiter's moons.  This allowed the color images to be spaced more closely together. "The changes we made worked perfectly," Hansen said.

ganymede

The crater Tros with bright rays of ejecta is one of the largest on Ganymede. Citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill processed this sub-image to enhance the color and contrast.

JunoCam's raw images are available for the public to peruse and process into image products at https://missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam/processing.  More information about NASA citizen science can be found at https://science.nasa.gov/citizenscience and https://www.nasa.gov/solve/opportunities/citizenscience.

More information about Juno is at https://www.nasa.gov/juno and https://missionjuno.swri.edu. 

Image credits:

Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

Image processing: Björn Jónsson © cc nc sa 

Image processing: Kevin M. Gill © cc by

July 11, 2021
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