NASA's Juno spacecraft is a solar powered spacecraft, which recently captured a 'string of pearls' on Jupiter. The string of pearls refers to enormous counterclockwise rotating storms which are visible in the southern hemisphere of Jupiter.
JunoCam (JCM) imager which is carried by the Juno spacecraft captured the spectacular image, which is seventh of Jupiter's eight features. It has been observed that since 1986, the number of these white oval pearls have been varying in number from six to nine. Presently, the number of these white ovals present on the gas giant planet is eight.
The picture was snapped by the JunoCam on Sunday, December 11 2016 and it was the third closest encounter of the Juno spacecraft with Jupiter.
Have a look at the image captured by the spacecraft:
This picture was taken by the JunoCam while it was at a distance of 24,600 kilometres from the planet, as informed by NASA.
The JunoCam was launched on August 5 2011; it is a color, visible light camera, which is devised to capture outstanding snaps of Jupiter's cloud tops and poles.
Apart from being helpful for the science team, it was launched with the main aim of generating public engagement with the project, NASA stated.
The Juno mission is managed by the NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, with Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio as the principal investigator.
- Here are some interesting facts about Juno:
- Created by the Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS), it was launched on August 5, 2011.
- The main aim to add JunoCam on the spacecraft was to trigger more public engagement.
- The device comprises of a cloud detecting filter.
- It can capture a swatch of images as the spacecraft rotates.
- The camera is able to return 40 megabytes worth of data due to telecommunication limitations.