NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which recently reached planet Jupiter, has sent back first-ever image of the giant planet.
The image was taken by JunoCam on July 10, and also shows three of Jupiter’s four moons.
The image was taken at a distance of 4.3 million km from Jupiter, while the spacecraft was on its outbound leg of the initial 53.5-day capture.
The image, which is in colour, shows detailed atmospheric features of Jupiter, including the famous Great Red Spot.
The picture also shows Io, Europa and Ganymede – three of Jupiter’s largest moons.
Releasing the image, Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio said:
“This scene from JunoCam indicates it survived its first pass through Jupiter’s extreme radiation environment without any degradation and is ready to take on Jupiter.”
The JunoCam camera has been operational since July 4, 2016, six days after Juno reached Jupiter’s orbit.
NASA is now expecting its first high resolution images on August 27, when Juno will make its first close pass to Jupiter.
During this mission, Juno will circle the Jovian world 37 times, soaring low over the cloud tops and will get as close as 4,100 km from the planet.