NASA probe returns first in-orbit Jupiter photo

Photo: NASA

 

The American space agency’s new Juno mission to Jupiter has returned its first imagery since going into orbit around the gas giant last week, the BBC reports.

The picture shows a sunlit portion of the planet, together with three of its big moons – Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The fourth major satellite – Callisto – is out of view.

Juno is currently moving away from Jupiter on a large arc, but will sweep back in during August, enabling its “JunoCam” to take even better images.

At the moment, scientists are just relieved to know that the equipment is in good health after its encounter with Jupiter’s harsh radiation environment during the spacecraft’s orbit insertion manoeuvre on 5 July (GMT).

The mission team is now turning on all the probe’s instruments to check their status.

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