NASA Releases Incredible High-Definition Photos Of Jupiter

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NASA has released some incredible new photos of the planet Jupiter from its Juno space probe, which was first launched in 2011. Juno has visited many planets since it left on its voyage, but has most recently encountered Jupiter. The space probe arrived in Jupiter in July of 2016 and has since been taking incredible photos of the planet and its atmosphere.

Juno's mission is to measure Jupiter's composition, gravity field, magnetic field, and polar magnetosphere. It will also search for clues about how the planet formed, including whether it has a rocky core, the amount of water present within the deep atmosphere, mass distribution, and its deep winds.

Jupiter has been explored on a number of occasions by robotic space probes, starting with the Pioneer and Voyager flyby missions from 1973 to 1979, and later by the Galileo orbiter, which arrived at Jupiter in 1995.

Pioneer 10 was the first space probe to visit Jupiter, making its closest approach to the planet on December 4, 1973. Pioneer 10 identified plasma in Jupiter's magnetic field and also found that Jupiter's magnetic tail was nearly 800 million kilometers long, covering the entire distance to Saturn.

In late February 2007, Jupiter was visited by the New Horizons probe, which used Jupiter's gravity to increase its speed and bend its trajectory en route to Pluto. The latest probe to visit the planet is Juno, which entered into orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016.

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the Solar System. Future targets for exploration in the Jupiter system include the ice-covered liquid ocean of its moon Europa. Jupiter has 79 known moons, including the four large Galilean moons discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610. Ganymede, the largest of these moons, has a diameter greater than the entire planet of Mercury.

Check out the incredible new photos from the Juno probe below:

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Susan Claire graduated with a degree in microbiology from Ohio State University. Now she lives on the road, in a constant state of travel between research projects and studies. In her free time, she likes to write articles about the most cutting edge inventions, and most recent developments in science.