Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Jupiter in Ganymede’s Shadow | NASA's Juno Mission

Jupiter in Ganymede’s Shadow | NASA's Juno Mission

NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured this view of Jupiter during the mission’s 40th close pass by the giant planet on Feb. 25, 2022. The large, dark shadow on the left side of the image was cast by Jupiter’s moon Ganymede.

During its 40th close pass by Jupiter, our Juno spacecraft saw Ganymede cast a large, dark spot on the planet on Feb. 25, 2022.

JunoCam captured this image from very close to Jupiter, making Ganymede’s shadow appear especially large. At the time the raw image was taken, the Juno spacecraft was about 44,000 miles (71,000 kilometers) above Jupiter’s cloud tops and 15 times closer to the planet than Ganymede.

An observer at Jupiter’s cloud tops within the oval shadow would experience a total eclipse of the Sun. Total eclipses are more common on Jupiter than Earth for several reasons: Jupiter has four major moons (Ganymede, Io, Callisto, and Europa) that often pass between Jupiter and the Sun, and since Jupiter’s moons orbit in a plane close to Jupiter’s orbital plane, the moon shadows are often cast upon the planet.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott J. Bolton, of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA’s New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built and operates the spacecraft.

More information about Juno is available at:


Image Credit: Data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS 

Image Processing: Thomas Thomopoulos © CC 

Release Date: October 24, 2022

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