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NASA invites public to dive into Juno's Spectacular Images of Io
Jupiter's moon Io, its night side illuminated by reflected sunlight from Jupiter, or "Jupitershine." Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS Image processing by Emma Walimaki
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NASA invites public to dive into Juno's Spectacular Images of Io
by Clarence Oxford
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Feb 12, 2024

NASA's Juno spacecraft has once again set the bar high by delivering the closest and most detailed images of Jupiter's moon Io in over two decades. The spacecraft, which has been orbiting the largest planet in our solar system since 2011, made a historic approach to Io, coming within approximately 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) of its volatile surface on December 30th, 2023. This remarkable feat was followed by another flyby, focusing on Io's southern hemisphere-a region less explored in previous missions.

The images captured by Juno's onboard camera, JunoCam, offer an unprecedented look at Io's dynamic landscape, known for being the most volcanically active body in the solar system. These high-resolution photographs reveal fascinating geological features, including active volcanic plumes, towering mountain peaks casting stark shadows, and vivid lava lakes, some of which display intriguing island formations.

Juno's mission to Jupiter, primarily aimed at understanding the gas giant's origins and the mechanisms driving its atmospheric phenomena, has also provided invaluable insights into its moons. The recent flybys of Io are particularly significant, offering a fresh perspective on its complex volcanic activity and geology. The data collected not only enriches our understanding of Io but also contributes to our broader knowledge of planetary formation and dynamics in the solar system.

The scientific community and enthusiastic public volunteers have been invited to participate in processing the raw images obtained by JunoCam. This collaborative effort not only democratizes space exploration but also enables amateur astronomers and space enthusiasts to contribute to real scientific discovery. Individuals like Gerald Eichstadt, who have previously volunteered in image processing, have seen their work featured in scientific publications and press releases, highlighting the importance and impact of public involvement in space missions.

The raw images from Juno's recent flybys of Io are available online, offering a unique opportunity for the public to engage with these groundbreaking observations. By processing and enhancing these images, volunteers can help unveil further details of Io's fascinating geological features.

You can find the new raw images, see the creations of other image processors, and submit your own work here.

Related Links
JunoCam processing at SwRI
The million outer planets of a star called Sol

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