NASA’s Juno spacecraft has made another pass of our solar system’s gas giant, capturing even more iconic and breathtaking photos of Io, Jupiter’s volcanic moon. NASA shared the new images on Twitter, showcasing the volcanic moon in beautiful half shadows.
This isn’t the first time Juno has taken a closer look at the moons surrounding Jupiter. In 2022, Juno completed its first flyby of Europa, capturing new images that showcased the beautiful moon in all its glory. These latest photos of Io are simply another notch in the probe’s belt as it orbits the gas giant, learning more about Jupiter and its various moons.
These newest photos of Io were captured when Juno completed its most recent flyby on May 16. The photos are relatively far away, giving us a view of the moon from afar, the surface of it shrouded in shadow. It’s a beautiful sight and one we aren’t likely to forget, especially as the ESA’s JUICE mission makes its way towards Jupiter and the Jovian moons, with the hope of teaching us even more about them.
As of this most recent flyby, NASA says that the Juno space probe has flown over 510 million miles, documenting close encounters with three of Jupiter’s four largest moons during that time. This most recent flyby was the closest that Juno has come to Io, passing at 22,060 miles. Juno is now in its third year of expanded operations, and these most recent photos of Io aren’t the end of the line, either.
The space orbiter is also set to explore the ring system where some of Jupiter’s inner moons reside, providing more insight into those moons, as well. And Jupiter has plenty of moons for us to explore, with only Saturn surpassing it as the planet with the most moons in our solar system.