Earlier this week, NASA‘s Juno spacecraft made its first flyby of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede and now NASA has published the first two images from it.
As Juno flew past Ganymede at approximately 600 miles on June 7, JunoCam’s photographed nearly a whole side of the icy moon, as you can see above. Juno’s navigation camera “Stellar Reference Unit” also took a picture of Ganymede’s dark side, which you can see below. In the coming days, Juno is expected to send home more images of Ganymede.
Ganymede is the largest moon of Jupiter and our solar system. It is 5268 km in diameter, equivalent to 41 percent of the earth’s circumference. The Ganymede flyby will help scientists to learn more about the moon’s composition, ionosphere, magnetosphere, radiation levels and ice sheet. An interesting thing for the future trips to Jupiter and its 79 hitherto known moons.
The solar-powered spacecraft Juno left Earth in August 2011 and arrived at Jupiter in July 2016. Juno’s mission will continue at least until 2022.