Juno Mission: Post Jupiter Orbit Insertion

When Galileo Galilei first pointed his telescope to Jupiter in the 17th century, he saw Jupiter and its major four moons, now called Galilean Moon (Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Calisto). What he noticed after observing  Jupiter for some time is that what he first thought four stars are actually  moons like our own orbit around Jupiter. This was the first real sighting of orbiting bodies around another.
One day after Galileo, Simon Marius independently discovered moons around Jupiter, though he did not publish his discovery in a book until 1614. It was Marius’s names for the four major moons, however, that stuck—Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.
Juno, currently in orbit around Jupiter, captured a first-ever animation of what Galileo saw through his telescope in 1610. The series of images were taken during its first approach toward Jupiter before June 30th, 2016 over the course of 17 days. This is how the Solar System would look like looking at it from a distance.
This is so significant that scientists can already start doing science with it. If you look closely, Calisto (outermost moon) appears to be fainter and we are not sure why.
Juno’s Current Phase
Juno in Orbit Confirmed
NASA at JPL celebrating the confirmed news from Juno (NASA TV, July 5th, 2016)

 

Juno spent nearly 5 years to get to Jupiter. The spacecraft successfully entered orbit around Jupiter on July 5th, 2016. This is just the beginning.

d3tijat-Orbit Capture Phase- This first two orbits of Juno, Orbit 1 and Orbit 2, are Capture orbits. Their period is around 53 days and will involve some science in them, especially when Juno is at Perijove to get the required data from that unpresented distance to Jupiter.
In a couple of days, science instruments will turn on and will be calibrated to start taking images and data for analysis. During these orbits, scientists at NASA will have plenty of time to test its instruments, analyse the data that is coming from Juno, and decide on the next steps and what to focus on.

On July 31st (GMT), Juno will reach Apojove (the furthest point from Jupiter) at around 13 million km (8 million miles) and then it will start falling back toward the planet and reach Perijove (the closest point to Jupiter) on Aug 27th, 2016 at around 4100km (2600 miles) away from Jupiter.
For orbit 2, it will be like orbit 1 with Apojove on Sep. 23rd and Perijove on Oct 19th except at this point Juno will fire up its engine again for 22 minutes for the Period Reduction Phase to reduce its orbital period from 53 days to 14 days for orbits 3 to orbit 36. This will include the bulk of Juno’s science data.
orbit_diagram
Mission Orbits
Meanwhile, Juno is happy to be in a stable orbit around Jupiter. All systems are nominal and we are waiting for more images to be released before next closest approach to Jupiter at the end of Orbit 1.
Juno One day away
Juno approaching Jupiter (July 4th, 2016, 2340 UTC)

Google celebrated it with their own doodle
juno-reaches-jupiter-5164229872058368-hp

If you missed the Post JOI Briefing, you can watch it here

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