Juno Is on Course to Swing into Orbit Around Jupiter on July 4
NASA's Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft has entered the planet's magnetosphere, where the movement of particles in space is controlled by what's going on inside Jupiter.When Juno arrives to Jupiter on July 4
, it will bring with it a slew of instruments such as infrared imager/spectrometer and vector magnetometer among the half a dozen other scientific tools in its payload.
Juno will avoid Jupiter’s highest radiation regions by approaching over the north, dropping to an altitude below the planet’s radiation belts – which are analogous to Earth’s Van Allen belts, but far more deadly – and then exiting over the south.
To protect sensitive spacecraft electronics, Juno will carry the first radiation shielded electronics vault, a critical feature for enabling sustained exploration in such a heavy radiation environment.
Data from Juno's Waves investigation, presented as audio stream and color animation, indicate the spacecraft's crossing of the bow shock
just outside the magnetosphere on June 24
and the transit into the lower density of the Jovian magnetosphere on July 25
The bow shock is analogous to a sonic boom. The solar wind blows past all the planets at a speed of about a million miles per hour, and where it hits an obstacle, there's all this turbulence.
The Juno spacecraft launched on Aug. 5, 2011
, from Cape Canaveral, Florida.Further reading and references
► https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/Gif source>> http://nasa.tumblr.com/#Junomission