Juno Captures Pics of Eclipse on Jupiter!

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Jupiter’s Moon Io Created a Gargantuan Shadow on the King of Our Solar System

There appeared to be a rather large hole in the rather large planet we call Jupiter this week. No, I’m not talking about the Great Red Spot. Of course, I’m not talking about an actual hole, either. Instead, I’m referring to the shadow cast by Io one of the planet’s many moons creating an eclipse on Jupiter. Fortunately for all of us, NASA caught some great pics of the eclipse with the Juno spacecraft!

NASA’s Juno mission set out to study our solar system’s biggest planet in 2011, and began orbiting Jupiter in 2016. The mission is slated to last until 2021, and according to NASA’s Juno website…

“Specifically, Juno will…

  • Determine how much water is in Jupiter’s atmosphere, which helps determine which planet formation theory is correct (or if new theories are needed)
  • Look deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere to measure composition, temperature, cloud motions and other properties
  • Map Jupiter’s magnetic and gravity fields, revealing the planet’s deep structure
  • Explore and study Jupiter’s magnetosphere near the planet’s poles, especially the auroras – Jupiter’s northern and southern lights – providing new insights about how the planet’s enormous magnetic force field affects its atmosphere.”

Here’s a video of footage taken by Juno during the eclipse on Jupiter:

An Eclipse on Jupiter Isn’t Rare, but It’s Still Cool!

With as many moons as Jupiter has, it sees eclipses all the time. We don’t often get to see pics like those Juno sent back, though. Some of those moons, such as Europa, Callisto, Ganymede, and of course, Io, are of particular interest to NASA and other space organization for their potential to harbor liquid water. The presence of subsurface liquid water implies the possibility of life in one form or another existing on one or some of these moons. Missions like Juno gather as much data as possible about such conditions, as well as other data needed to shape our understanding of both the solar system and the cosmos as a whole.  

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Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

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