Journey to Jupiter produces remarkable images
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
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A NASA spacecraft has captured the best views of Jupiter yet. The views revealed turbulent storms in the planet's north pole.
Jupiter's northern polar region is stormier than expected and appears bluer than the rest of the planet. This is according to mission chief scientist Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute 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 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, a target of future exploration.

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

  • eharlan-dav
    9/22/2016 - 04:58 p.m.

    In response to "Journey to Jupiter produces remarkable images" I agree that it was good to explore Jupiter. One reason I agree that it was a good idea is it could allow us to figure out how to create the planet habitable. Another reason is it could help understand how our planet was formed. In the text it states, "Studying the largest planet in the solar system may hold clues to understanding how Earth and the rest of the planets formed". Even though some people might disagree, and say it is a waste of resources and time to explore planets farther out I would argue it could help us spread the population of earth to another planet. In the end I still would go with my opinion and agree that it was a good idea to go and explore another planet.

  • wyattc1-har
    9/29/2016 - 01:47 p.m.

    Nasa has sent a spacecraft to Jupiter to map out its massive land has already taken pictures. There are good things to this and some bad things like one of the good things is if we go to Jupiter we will have a map of the land. There are some bad things to and one of them is that before the spacecraft is done taking pictures it can crash or lose connection. Here is another good thing that The spacecraft can do is see if there is a life form on the planet. Those are my good and bad things that the spacecraft can do wrong and do stuff for good.

  • lukeh-orv
    9/30/2016 - 11:21 a.m.

    I believe the space craft is solar powered because they had no way to charge it in space. They cant just plug it into an outlet and wait for it to charge like an ipnohe. But anyways, there is so much light on Jupiter from the sun that it would constantly stay charged, easy right? Plus, if they used a battery it would eventually die out. batteries don't last for 20 months. With solar power they wouldn't be wasting any money with big batteries and then just destroying the entire spacecraft. That would be a waste of energy and money. Solar panels constantly charge so you wont have to worry about it dying unless it accidentally crashes. That is why I believe NASA made the spacecraft solar powered.

  • olivial-orv
    10/16/2016 - 08:39 p.m.

    Why would NASA want Juno to crash into Jupiter? Shouldn't they save it for future explorations? I think they should. It makes no sense to me why they would want to get rid of Juno if it works. Those things cost a lot of money!

  • iyanan-mac
    10/19/2016 - 12:06 p.m.

    The spacecraft is solar powered because in space they don't have outlets so if its run by battery it will eventually die.

  • lexid-mac
    10/19/2016 - 12:09 p.m.

    The spacecraft solar is powered so we can get pictures to see what this planet looks like and try to find out if there is living life on the planet, and see the storms that happen in its northern pole. Our next mission is hopefully to orbit Jupiter, and try to get to the planets moons next. Also to try and move on beyond to other parts of outer space.

  • pauls-mac
    10/19/2016 - 12:09 p.m.

    The spacecraft is solar powered because it will use less fuel and energy around it.

  • anthonyel-mac
    10/19/2016 - 12:54 p.m.

    Because u need to plug in a wire into a outlet and theres no outlet over there.

  • jessicaf-mac
    10/20/2016 - 11:24 a.m.

    Wow Jupiter is so fascinating wow

  • soumyaa-mac
    10/20/2016 - 12:06 p.m.

    The spacecraft is solar powered because there is no electricity in the space.

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