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Juno spacecraft makes another pass by Jupiter

20 May 2017 Stephen Clark

Making its fifth science pass close to Jupiter’s turbulent cloud tops, NASA’s Juno spacecraft sailed by the Solar System’s king planet Friday to collect another treasure trove of data on the giant world’s atmosphere, internal structure, and magnetic field.

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NASA’s Juno spacecraft to remain in current orbit around Jupiter

21 February 2017 Stephen Clark

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.

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Juno dives over Jupiter’s cloud tops with main engine still offline

2 February 2017 Stephen Clark

NASA’s Juno spacecraft made a high-speed pass less than 3,000 miles over Jupiter’s turbulent clouds Thursday, taking dozens of pictures, measuring radiation and plasma waves, and peering deep inside the planet’s atmosphere, but officials still have not cleared the orbiter’s main engine for a planned maneuver to position the probe for improved science observations.

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Two asteroid missions get nod from NASA

11 January 2017 Stephen Clark

NASA has selected two robotic missions to visit asteroids in the early 2020s from a field of proposed interplanetary probes, approving projects to explore a metallic relic from the early solar system and a half-dozen so-called Trojan objects left over from the formation of the outer planets.

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Juno gets its closest look at Jupiter

28 August 2016 Stephen Clark

Nearly two months after NASA’s Juno spacecraft slipped into orbit around Jupiter, the solar-powered probe made a passage 4,200 kilometres over the giant planet’s colourful banded clouds Saturday, the closest planned encounter during its 20-month exploration of the solar system’s largest world.

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Freezing effects of Jupiter’s shadow on Io’s volcanic gases revealed

3 August 2016 Astronomy Now

A team of scientists has documented atmospheric changes on Io, Jupiter’s volcanically active satellite, as the giant planet casts its shadow over the moon during daily eclipses. Io’s thin atmosphere collapses as the sulfur dioxide gas emitted from volcanoes freezes when shaded by Jupiter. The atmosphere reforms when Io moves out of eclipse and the ice sublimates.

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The case of the missing Ceres craters

27 July 2016 Astronomy Now

Ceres is covered in countless small, young craters, but none are larger than 175 miles (280 kilometres) in diameter. To scientists, this is a huge mystery, given that the dwarf planet must have been hit by numerous large asteroids during its 4.5 billion-year lifetime. Where did all the large craters go?