Galileo Hubble Space Telescope Science & Technology Unmanned Spaceflight Voyager

Jupiter eats a comet

Its collision with the solar system’s largest planet predicted over a year in advance, the fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 begin impacting Jupiter’s atmosphere in an astronomical event lasting six days. With Earth-based telescopes watching, as well as cameras and instruments on the Hubble Space Telescope, Galileo and even Voyager 2, huge explosions are witnessed …

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Cassini / Huygens Unmanned Spaceflight

Cassini swings by Jupiter

NASA’s Cassini space probe successfully completes a slingshot maneuver past Jupiter, a necessary milestone on the unmanned robot’s long journey to Saturn. While in the neighborhood, Cassini conducts tandem studies of Jupiter with the still-operational Galileo probe, which – despite numerous major malfunctions – has still survived three years longer in Jovian space than it …

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Astronomy Geosciences Science & Technology

Mega-eruption on Io

Astronomers using the Keck Observatory’s Hawaii-based telescopes and near-infrared cameras capture an image of a devastating volcanic eruption on Io, one of Jupiter’s largest moons (and known since 1979 to be very volcanically active). The eruption, unleashing enough molten material to reshape hundreds of square miles of Io’s surface, also reveals that the material erupted …

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Juno Unmanned Spaceflight

Juno arrives at Jupiter

NASA’s Juno space probe successfully pulls of a risky orbital insertion maneuver, slowing itself down just enough to be captured into an unprecedented polar orbit around Jupiter. Launched in 2011, Juno’s first close pass of Jupiter brings it within 3,100 miles of Jupiter’s cloudtops, the closest any spacecraft has ever approached the huge planet. Its …

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Europa Clipper Unmanned Spaceflight

Europa Clipper

After a long process of gaining sufficient approval to be budgeted for a design phase, NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft gets a name and a preliminary shape, but no completion date or launch window any more specific than “the 2020s”, likely putting it at Jupiter’s intriguing moon Europa in the early 2030s after a series of …

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