Journey to Jupiter produces remarkable images This Aug. 27, 2016 image provided by NASA shows Jupiter's north polar region, taken by the Juno spacecraft 120,000 miles (195,000 kilometers) away from the planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS via AP)
Journey to Jupiter produces remarkable images
Lexile

A NASA spacecraft has captured the best views of the planet Jupiter yet. The views revealed turbulent storms in the north pole.
 
Jupiter's northern polar region is stormier than expected. It appears bluer than the rest of the planet. This is according to mission chief scientist Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute. It is in San Antonio, Texas.
 
"This image is hardly recognizable as Jupiter," he said in a statement.
 
On September 2, NASA released a batch of close-up pictures. They were taken by the Juno spacecraft when it recently flew within 2,500 miles of Jupiter's dense cloud tops.
 
During the rendezvous that took Juno from pole to pole, the solar-powered spacecraft turned on its camera and instruments to collect data.
 
The first glimpse of Jupiter's poles came in 1974 when Pioneer 11 flew by on its way to Saturn.
 
The detailed pictures taken by Juno look "like nothing we have seen or imagined before," Bolton said.
 
Juno also sent back unique views of Jupiter's bright southern lights. They are considered the most powerful in the solar system.
 
The flyby was the first of three dozen planned close passes during the 20-month mission.
 
Unlike rocky Earth and Mars, Jupiter is a gas giant. It likely formed before Earth and Mars, shortly after the sun. Studying the largest planet in the solar system may hold clues to understanding how Earth and the rest of the planets formed.
 
After a five-year journey, Juno slipped into orbit around Jupiter in July. Juno will map the massive planet's poles, atmosphere and interior. It's the first spacecraft to carry a titanium vault. The vault is designed to shield its computer and electronics from intense radiation.
 
Juno is only the second mission to orbit Jupiter. When it completes its job in 2018, it will deliberately crash into Jupiter's atmosphere and disintegrate. NASA planned the finale so that Juno won't accidentally smack into Jupiter's moons, particularly the icy moon Europa. That is a target of future exploration.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is the spacecraft solar powered?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (110)
  • malachis24-sto
    9/08/2016 - 09:39 a.m.

    The spacecraft is solar powered because Jupiter has the brightest lights in the solar system and those lights can be used for powering the spacecraft.

    • samj-stu
      9/26/2016 - 04:53 p.m.

      I agree with everyone but if it was fuel it would last for a certain amount of time but with solar power it can be there forever and take pictures. I think the pictures looks cool because Jupiter is usually brownish.

  • jacks25-sto
    9/08/2016 - 09:42 a.m.

    The spacecraft is solar powered because if it was gas powered it would most likely explode or overheat due to the gas in the tank but with it solar power it would still be burning but it wouldn't explode

  • hayleel-ste
    9/08/2016 - 10:36 a.m.

    Juno has orbited the planet Jupiter and will continue to do so until the yea 2018. It has brought back some very interesting pictures of the storms occurring on this planet.

  • kasonk12-
    9/08/2016 - 11:15 a.m.

    I think it is amazing how they can do stuff like that

  • irisp-ste
    9/08/2016 - 01:20 p.m.

    The spacecraft is most likely solar powered to be more environmental friendly, especially now when issues regarding the environment are so controversial right now. While other spacecrafts often use gas or another type of fuel, this one can use clean energy directly from the sun to carry out its duties without worrying about running out of fuel.

  • cmichael-dav
    9/08/2016 - 05:32 p.m.

    I think that the space craft is solar power because nasa can't afford to send a ship to refuel it avery so often. I think it is cool that there are stories on jupiter because that means that it might be possible to grow on the planet.Which also means that it might be possible to live on the planet.

  • austinh2-pel
    9/13/2016 - 09:11 a.m.

    The spacecraft is solar powered where it could have energy so it can take pictures of Jupiter. It is solar powered so it doesn't run out of energy.

  • seanl-pel
    9/13/2016 - 09:16 a.m.

    That is the only source of power right now to be able to recharge the battery without any human contact for years. Any other energy currently invented.

  • rosew-pel
    9/13/2016 - 09:17 a.m.

    The spacecraft is solar powered because they have to have cameras and instruments to collect data

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