Thursday, June 13

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Will Pass Close To Io Soon

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft is currently in orbit around Jupiter, and is projected to make a flyby of one of the planet’s moons.

This Saturday, Juno will come within 1,000 miles close to Io, which will be the first time NASA has had a spacecraft this close to the moon. When the craft comes close to Jupiter’s moon, Scientists are hoping to study Io’s Volcanoes.

“By combining data from this flyby with our previous observations. We are looking for how often they erupt, how bright and hot they are, how the shape of the lava flow changes, and how Io’s activity is connected to the flow of charged particles in Jupiter’s magnetosphere.”

Juno’s principal investigator, Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas

NASA is already scheduling another flyby of the moon, which should happen in February 3, 2024. When this happens, the Juno Spacecraft will come within 930 miles of the surface.

The spacecraft has been monitoring volcanic activity from distances ranging about 6,380 miles to over 62,100 miles. It has provided the first views of the moons north and south oles, as well as flying close to Ganymede and Europa.

Image Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS, Image processing by Ted Stryk