CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Sci-Tech

Juno sends back its first view from orbit around Jupiter

NASA's spacecraft has been orbiting the massive planet for a little over a week but just fired up its main camera a few days ago to share the view.

The big guy and three of its largest moons as seen from Juno.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

About a week after NASA's Juno spacecraft entered orbit around Jupiter on July 4, the first images taken from the spacecraft's perch around the largest planet in the solar system have made their way back to Earth.

On Sunday, six days after starting its orbit, Juno's visible light camera was turned on and the JunoCam captured the above scene, proving it survived its first pass through the planet's intense radiation. (We already heard the audio evidence that it made it into Jupiter's magnetosphere.)

The view shows Jupiter with its famous giant red spot on display, as well as three of its four major moons: Io, Europa and Ganymede. While Io is a turbulent world marked by violent volcanic activity, Europa and Ganymede are believed to harbor hidden ocean, with Europa a leading target for the search for life beyond Earth.

NASA says high-resolution views of Jupiter itself from Juno will arrive in a few weeks. For more than a year and a half, the spacecraft will circle the gas giant, studying its huge auroras and peaking beneath its dense clouds to learn more about the planet's structure and maybe even look for signs of crazy sci-fi creatures inhabiting its atmosphere or unseen oceans.