After five years and 445 million miles, NASA’s Juno mission arrives in orbit around Jupiter on Monday to begin an unprecedented scientific study of the behemoth planet that shaped our solar system.
Mighty Jupiter is incomprehensibly large. More massive than all the other planets and asteroids in the solar system combined, Jupiter is the size of 1,300 Earths. As if such a big guy needed any additional protection, Jupiter is also swathed in radiation that’s many thousands of times harsher than around Earth.
For centuries, astronomers have been enchanted by the planet Jupiter, that roiling sea of clouds punctuated by a glowering red eye. But we’ve only had the fuzziest notion of what lies beneath this violent visage—until now.
Over the next several nights, skywatchers will be treated to a cool celestial sight as Venus, Mars, and Jupiter hang out together in the morning sky. Here’s what you need to know about the rare conjunction and how to watch.
The Hubble Space Telescope has been enlisted as a cosmic weather satellite, providing NASA with unprecedented details about the turbulent storms encompassing Jupiter.