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NASA's Juno spacecraft beams first pictures from Jupiter

 

Associated Press

Pasadena, California, United States  /  Wed, July 13, 2016  /  02:21 pm
NASA's Juno spacecraft beams first pictures from Jupiter

This July 10, 2016, image released by NASA was taken by the Juno spacecraft, five days after it arrived at Jupiter. The image shows Jupiter's Great Red Spot and three of its four largest moons. Juno is on a 20-month mission to study Jupiter's poles, atmosphere and interior. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS via AP/Juno)

A NASA spacecraft has sent back the first pictures since arriving at Jupiter.

An image released Tuesday shows Jupiter surrounded by three of its four largest moons. The picture was taken on Saturday when the Juno spacecraft was circling 3 million miles away. Even at that distance, Jupiter's Great Red Spot — a centuries-old atmospheric storm — was visible.

(Read also: 5 brightest planets gather in pre-dawn sky for heavenly show)

Juno entered orbit around Jupiter last week after a five-year journey. It's on a 20-month mission to map the giant planet's poles, atmosphere and interior.

During the approach, the camera and instruments were powered off as a precaution as Juno braved intense radiation. The instruments were turned back on several days after the arrival.

Scientists have said close-ups of Jupiter won't come until next month when Juno swings back around.

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