Story at a glance

  • NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured the first closeup images of Jupiter’s largest moon Ganymede in two decades.
  • Juno came within 645 miles of Ganymede, the closest a spacecraft has gotten to the moon since NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in 2000.
  • Ganymede is one of 79 of Jupiter’s moons and was discovered by Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei in 1610.

On Monday, NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured the first closeup images of Jupiter’s largest moon Ganymede in two decades.

Juno came within 645 miles of Ganymede, the closest a spacecraft has gotten to the moon since NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in 2000, according to NASA.

Ganymede is one of the 79 moons of Jupiter and was discovered by Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei in 1610.


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The new photos of Ganymede were released by NASA on Tuesday.

“This is the closest any spacecraft has come to this mammoth moon in a generation,” said Scott Bolton, Juno’s lead scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “We are going to take our time before we draw any scientific conclusions, but until then we can simply marvel at this celestial wonder — the only moon in our solar system bigger than the planet Mercury.”

After being launched into space about a decade ago, Juno has been orbiting Jupiter for the past five years.


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Published on Jun 09, 2021