Last month, NASA’s Juno Jovian Moon released the closest images of Ganymede over two decades. The visual artists stitched together those incredible images and Juno’s next Jupiter flyby and created an incredible 3D animation that lets you climb over the solar system’s largest moon before meeting the largest planet in the solar system. The visuals were created using real-time images taken by spacecraft Juno Cam, created by civil scientist Gerald Ichstadt and then projected into digital fields. Animators Koji Kurmura and Mike Station made the world a flyby.
June In June, Juno was only 1,038 kilometers (645 miles) from the surface of the Ganymede, providing a detailed picture of the moon. Then 14 hours and 50 minutes later, Juno separated the moon from Jupiter, covering 1.18 million kilometers (735.00 miles). It then surveyed the planet just 3,400 kilometers (2,100 miles) above its clouds. And you can take this unprecedented planetary journey in just 3 minutes 30 seconds. Scott Bolton, the principal investigator for Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, said in a statement, “The animation shows just how beautiful deep space exploration can be.”
“The animation revolves around Jupiter and what it would be like to fly past its icy moons is a way for people to imagine exploring our solar system. Today, as we approach the exciting possibility of being able to visit space in orbit around the Earth, it pushes our imagination forward into the future, when humans will travel to aliens in our solar system.” Ganymede’s flyby was not only an important observation mission, it was also important for the navigation of the spacecraft. Being the largest moon in the solar system, Ganymede applied gravitational pull and the team used it to change the orbit of Juno.
The spacecraft now orbits Jupiter every 43 days instead of 53 days. Juno’s next flyby is scheduled for July 21. It will be the 35th since the start of the mission. It was supposed to be the final perizov to end with the planet, but the mission was extended again. Currently, the extended second mission is scheduled to end in September 2025.