NASA’s Juno spacecraft recently snapped the stunning portrait of Jupiter just as the shadow of Io, it’s innermost moon passed over its marbled clouds. From its close position above Jupiter during its 22nd flyby on Sept. 11, Juno witnessed the moon slip in-between its host planet and the Sun.
The Juno mission made a close skim over the gas giant just when the celestial geometry was set for Io to slip between the sun and the planet during one of its rapid-fire circuits of Jupiter that take just just 1.77 days. In these mesmerizing photos snapped by Junocam, Jupiter seems to have a large black hole in the upper hemisphere.
Out of Jupiter’s four large moons, Io orbits closest to the planet and consequently casts a vast shadow on the gas giant. It is also the most volcanic world in our solar system owing to the heat generated by the close tug of Jupiter’s massive gravity.
NASA’s Juno mission has been orbiting Jupiter for over three years, making a close approach every 53 days. Scientifically, the probe’s objective is to study the planet’s atmosphere and interior via a host of onboard instruments.
But Juno has a camera which clicks raw images that are uploaded online and get filtered by volunteer image processors to display beautiful, informative and breathtaking images of Jupiter and its surroundings.
Thus, while scientists analyze Juno’s data, we can enjoy stunning images of Jupiter, like these eclipse shots that mimic photographs taken from space of eclipses here on Earth.