NASA’s Juno Spacecraft which was sent to unravel the mysteries of the biggest member of the solar system has shed light on the other major storms which are raging on the gas giant beside the giant red spot. Juno has photographed what is described as a massive storm, one of the eight different storms presently raging on the planet. These storms resemble together a ‘string of pearls’.
These storms vary in numbers from six to nine and are raging over the southern hemisphere of Jupiter. These pictures were snapped by the camera onboard which is known as JunoCam. The JunoCam is not exactly classified as a scientific instrument and has been put as a PR exercise by NASA so that it increases public engagements for NASA missions.
The spacecraft is at a distance of 24,600 kilometres from Jupiter. Juno was a part of the New Frontiers mission which was aimed at studying the outer planets of the solar system. The spacecraft was manufactured by Lockheed Martin and was launched in 2011 and after a five years journey which included a fly by Earth in 2013 when it used Earth’s gravity to slingshot itself on its long journey to Jupiter.
Juno spacecraft does not have any Nuclear power source and instead uses a Giant Solar panel which also stabilises the spacecraft as its source of energy. The satellite has two large Li-ion batteries which store electricity for various instruments aboard the spacecraft.
Juno will continue its mission for 30 months and after that, it will be de-orbited and will burn out in the dense atmosphere of the planet. This has been done to reduce any chance of contamination on the moons of the Jovian planet, where there is a possibility of life.
Another orbiter, Cassini is on an orbital mission around Saturn and is sending incredible pictures of the only ringed planet in the solar system.