Juno about to orbit Jupiter

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A NASA spacecraft called Juno is about to begin its orbit of the planet Jupiter.

It’s part of a special mission to help scientists find out more about our biggest planet, and how the solar system began.

Juno blasted off in 2011, and will now orbit Jupiter 32 times – floating just 5,000 kilometres above the planet’s cloud tops, for around one year.

During this time it will be gathering lots of research and feeding it back to scientists here on Earth.

Jupiter is the 5th planet from the Sun, and the largest planet in the Solar System. How much bigger is Jupiter than Earth? Just to give you a sense of scale, Jupiter is 2.5 times more massive than all the rest of the planets in the Solar System combined.

Jupiter’s diameter is 11.2 times larger than Earth. In other words, you could put 11.2 Earths side-by-side to match the diameter of Jupiter.

Juno’s main goal is to try to understand how Jupiter was formed and how it has changed over the years.

Jupiter is mostly made from two gases, hydrogen and helium, which are also present in the Sun.
So, scientists think that by studying Jupiter’s atmosphere they will learn more about how our planets formed.

Scientists hope that by observing the clouds surrounding Jupiter, and discovering what they are made of, monitoring their temperature, and movements, they can learn more about the planet and other gas planets.
One of the things they are hoping to find out, is how much water and ammonia is in Jupiter’s atmosphere.

7 Responses

  1. awesome, i bet its gonna whiz around and change our understanding of the solar system.

  2. That is awesome and cool and my most fave part of Jupiter is the great red spot.The great red spot is the size of Earth AWESOME. : ) : )

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