NASA’s Juno spacecraft is barreling toward a rendezvous with Jupiter after a 2.8 billion kilometre (1.7-billion-mile), five-year trip from planet Earth. The research probe’s main engine will ignite for 35 minutes to maneuver Juno into orbit, and engineers expect to receive confirmation of burn’s start at 0318 GMT Tuesday.
Whether you’re a casual stargazer or armed with a toolkit of observing gadgets, chances are you have caught a glimpse of Jupiter this year beckoning as one of the brightest objects in the night sky. It’s about to get its first visitor in nearly a decade, when NASA’s Juno spacecraft rockets into orbit.
The visible camera on NASA’s Juno spacecraft is capturing a time-lapse movie of Jupiter and its four largest moons as the orbiter dives toward the giant planet for a 4 July rendezvous, and officials have released a first taste of the views armchair scientists and space enthusiasts can anticipate over the coming weeks and months.