NASA’s Juno spacecraft carried out its 16th close flyby of Jupiter on 29 October, sailing just 7,000 kilometres (4,400 miles) above the giant planet’s turbulent atmosphere. This Junocam image was processed by citizen scientists Seán Doran and Gerald Eichstädt, showing bright white “pop-up” clouds and a huge white anticyclonic storm in Jupiter’s North North Temperate Belt. The image is centred on a latitude of about 40 degrees north latitude. Junocam is a public outreach camera and its images are available on line for processing by interested citizen scientists.
Observers in the UK with clear skies around 1am BST on Tuesday, 21 May can see Jupiter, the solar system’s largest planet, just 4 degrees from the waning gibbous Moon low in the south-southeast. At this time both the Moon and Jupiter fit within the same field of view of binoculars magnifying less than 10×, while telescope users can also view Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.
Observer’s in the UK and Western Europe should look low to the southwest an hour after sunset on Friday, 30 June to glimpse the almost first quarter Moon a low-power binocular field of view to the right of Jupiter in bright twilight. The following night finds the waxing gibbous Moon forming a near isosceles triangle with the planet and first-magnitude star Spica in Virgo.
Concerns about the health of the Juno spacecraft’s main engine have compelled NASA managers to keep the research probe in its current arcing, high-altitude orbit around Jupiter, a decision that will delay the full science return from the $1.1 billion mission but should still allow it to meet all predetermined objectives.