Where is Juno now?

This week the Juno spacecraft is completing its first orbit since capture (a 53 day period), with the first close flyby that is happening today. The instruments should be on and recording, so we may get some initial data in a few days.

This diagram shows the Juno spacecraft’s orbits, including its two long, stretched-out capture orbits. The spacecraft’s position on July 31 is indicated at left. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

With no news, I turn to “Eyes on Juno”, a NASA JPL desktop app that visualizes the location of various spacecraft in the solar system. (We can tell how impoverished NASA is, since there is no mobile version of this little trinket.) It was a bit slow to load, and sucked a lot of bandwidth to set up, but it’s very pretty interactive animation.

Spaceflight 101” has some nice write-ups of the instruments and upcoming “science orbits”, which will have 14 day periods starting in November. If everything goes well (fingers crossed) we should get some new data on the magnetosphere and atmosphere, some gravity measurements that may detect a solid core, and maybe spot some new moons.

Fingers crossed that things hold together in this hostile and risky environment.

 

Space Saturday

 

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