Closest fly-by of Jupiter’s largest moon in more than two decades

“This is the closest any spacecraft has come to this mammoth moon in a generation,”

Closest fly-by of Jupiter’s largest moon in more than two decades

Closest fly-by of Jupiter’s largest moon in more than two decades photo credit: MSN

This image of Ganymede was obtained by the JunoCam imager during Juno’s June 7, 2021, flyby of the icy moon. The spacecraft flew closer to Jupiter’s largest moon than any other in more than two decades, offering dramatic glimpses of the icy orb.

The first two images from NASA Juno’s June 7, 2021, flyby of Jupiter’s giant moon Ganymede have been received on Earth.

The photos – one from the Jupiter orbiter’s JunoCam imager and the other from its Stellar Reference Unit star camera – show the surface in remarkable detail, including craters, clearly distinct dark and bright terrain, and long structural features possibly linked to tectonic faults.

“This is the closest any spacecraft has come to this mammoth moon in a generation,” said Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

“We are going to take our time before we draw any scientific conclusions, but until then we can simply marvel at this celestial wonder.” 

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