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.
In preparation for the imminent arrival of NASA’s Juno spacecraft, astronomers have used ESO’s Very Large Telescope to obtain spectacular new infrared images of Jupiter as part of a campaign to create high-resolution maps of the giant planet. These observations will help astronomers to better understand the gas giant ahead of Juno’s close encounter next month.