NASA’s Juno orbiter normally focuses on Jupiter’s turbulent atmosphere as it swings around the giant planet, but in this mesmerising view the spacecraft caught the tortured moon Io, the most volcanically active body in the solar system, rising above the planet’s vast horizon. Slightly larger than Earth Moon, Io is dwarfed by Jupiter’s titanic disc. This colour-enhanced image was captured by the JunoCam instrument on 29 October as June flew through its 16th close encounter with Jupiter, passing about 18,400 kilometres (11.400 miles) above the planet’s cloud tops. The image was processed by citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Justin Cowart.
Contradicting the long-standing idea that large Jupiter-mass planets take a minimum of 10 million years to form, astronomers have just announced the discovery of a giant planet in close orbit around a 2 million-year-old star that still retains a disc of circumstellar gas and dust. CI Tau b is at least eight times larger than Jupiter and 450 light-years from Earth.