The space agency’s
Over the coming year, it’s only going to get closer, ultimately traveling within 930 miles, or 1,500 kilometers, from Io. That’s darn close. The
“We’re marching closer and closer,” Scott Bolton, the Juno mission’s principal investigator, told Mashable in March.
Take a look at Juno’s latest Io imagery, with NASA images expertly processed by citizen scientists and professional image processors.
Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / Kevin M. Gill CC BY 3.0
Credit: NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Jason Perry CC BY 3.0
Juno captured these images on its 51st trip around Jupiter. The spacecraft isn’t headed towards Io, but is making close, planned passes as it zooms around the nearby gas giant.
For planetary scientists, the images are invaluable.
“Io is the most volcanic celestial body that we know of in our solar system,” Bolton said in a
“We’re marching closer and closer.”
Io is blanketed in volcanoes because it’s stuck in a relentless “tug-of-war” between the massive Jupiter and two of Jupiter’s other big moons, Ganymede and
By year’s end, in late December, the spacecraft will make its closest pass by Io (and again in early 2024). Prepare for some unprecedented imagery.