NASA’s Juno Mission Getting Closer to Jupiter’s Moon Io (2023)

Solar System


May 15, 2023

NASA’s Juno Mission Getting Closer to Jupiter’s Moon Io (1)

This JunoCam image of the Jovian moon Io was collected during Juno’s flyby of the moon on March 1, 2023. At the time of closest approach, Juno was about 32,000 miles (51,500 kilometers) away from Io.

Credit: Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS. Image processing: Kevin M. Gill (CC BY)

NASA’s Juno Mission Getting Closer to Jupiter’s Moon Io (2)

This composite image of Io was generated using data collected by the JunoCam imager aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft during four flybys of the Jovian moon. The resolution of the images gets progressively better as the distance between spacecraft and moon decreases with each flyby (perijove, or PJ).

Credit: Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/. Image processing, left to right: Björn Jónsson (CC NC SA), Jason Perry (CC NC SA), Mike Ravine (CC BY), Kevin M. Gill (CC BY)

(Video) NASA Have Just Announced That Jupiter's Moon IO Has Started To Send The Juno Probe Messages

NASA’s Juno Mission Getting Closer to Jupiter’s Moon Io (3)

These composite views depicting volcanic activity on Io were generated using both visible light and infrared data collected by NASA’s Juno spacecraft during flybys of the Jovian moon on Dec. 14, 2022 (left) and March 1, 2023.


The gas giant orbiter has flown over 510 million miles and also documented close encounters with three of Jupiter’s four largest moons.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft will fly past Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io on Tuesday, May 16, and then the gas giant itself soon after. The flyby of the Jovian moon will be the closest to date, at an altitude of about 22,060 miles (35,500 kilometers). Now in the third year of its extended mission to investigate the interior of Jupiter, the solar-powered spacecraft will also explore the ring system where some of the gas giant’s inner moons reside.

To date, Juno has performed 50 flybys of Jupiter and also collected data during close encounters with three of the four Galilean moons – the icy worlds Europa and Ganymede, and fiery Io.

“Io is the most volcanic celestial body that we know of in our solar system,” said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “By observing it over time on multiple passes, we can watch how the volcanoes vary – how often they erupt, how bright and hot they are, whether they are linked to a group or solo, and if the shape of the lava flow changes.”

NASA’s Juno Mission Getting Closer to Jupiter’s Moon Io (4)

(Video) Jupiter's moon Io captured for the first time in Juno Mission #shorts

These infrared views of volcanic activity of Jupiter’s moon Io were collected by the JIRAM (Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper) instrument aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft during a flyby of the moon on Oct. 16, 2021.


Slightly larger than Earth’s moon, Io is a world in constant torment. Not only is the biggest planet in the solar system forever pulling at it gravitationally, but so are its Galilean siblings – Europa and the biggest moon in the solar system, Ganymede. The result is that Io is continuously stretched and squeezed, actions linked to the creation of the lava seen erupting from its many volcanoes.

While Juno was designed to study Jupiter, its many sensors have additionally provided a wealth of data on the planet’s moons. Along with its visible light imager JunoCam, the spacecraft’s JIRAM (Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper), SRU (Stellar Reference Unit), and MWR (Microwave Radiometer) will be studying Io’s volcanoes and how volcanic eruptions interact with Jupiter’s powerful magnetosphere and auroras.

This downloadable graphic contains 50 image highlights from NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter. Juno completed its 50th close pass of the gas giant on April 8, 2023. Download image, get image details and credits.

“We are entering into another amazing part of Juno’s mission as we get closer and closer to Io with successive orbits. This 51st orbit will provide our closest look yet at this tortured moon,” said Bolton. “Our upcoming flybys in July and October will bring us even closer, leading up to our twin flyby encounters with Io in December of this year and February of next year, when we fly within 1,500 kilometers of its surface. All of these flybys are providing spectacular views of the volcanic activity of this amazing moon. The data should be amazing.”

A “Half-Century” at Jupiter

During its flybys of Jupiter, Juno has zoomed low over the planet’s cloud tops – as close as about 2,100 miles (3,400 kilometers). Approaching the planet from over the north pole and exiting over the south during these flybys, the spacecraft uses its instruments to probe beneath the obscuring cloud cover, studying Jupiter’s interior and auroras to learn more about the planet’s origins, structure, atmosphere, and magnetosphere.

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(Video) New NASA's Juno image exposes Io's volcano-laced surface

Juno has been orbiting Jupiter for more than 2,505 Earth days and flown over 510 million miles (820 million kilometers). The spacecraft arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016. The first science flyby occurred 53 days later, and the spacecraft continued with that orbital period until its flyby of Ganymede on June 7, 2021, which reduced its orbital period to 43 days. The Europa flyby on Sept. 29, 2022, reduced the orbital period to 38 days. After the next two Io flybys, on May 16 and July 31, Juno’s orbital period will remain fixed at 32 days.

“Io is only one of the celestial bodies which continue to come under Juno’s microscope during this extended mission,” said Juno’s acting project manager, Matthew Johnson of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “As well as continuously changing our orbit to allow new perspectives of Jupiter and flying low over the nightside of the planet, the spacecraft will also be threading the needle between some of Jupiter’s rings to learn more about their origin and composition.”

More About the Mission

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott J. Bolton, of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA’s New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built and operates the spacecraft.

More information about Juno is available at:


News Media Contact

DC Agle

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.


Karen Fox / Alana Johnson

NASA Headquarters, Washington

301-286-6284 / 202-358-1501 /

Deb Schmid

Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio



(Video) NASA's Juno Spacecraft Capture Jupiter's Volcanic Moon Io during close flyby of Jupiter Planet


NASA’s Juno Mission Getting Closer to Jupiter’s Moon Io? ›

The gas giant

gas giant
A gas giant is a large planet mostly composed of helium and/or hydrogen. These planets, like Jupiter and Saturn in our solar system, don't have hard surfaces and instead have swirling gases above a solid core. › planet-types › gas-giant
orbiter has flown over 510 million miles and also documented close encounters with three of Jupiter's four largest moons. NASA's Juno spacecraft will fly past Jupiter's volcanic moon Io on Tuesday, May 16, and then the gas giant itself soon after.

How close can Juno get to Jupiter? ›

Juno completed a five-year cruise to Jupiter, arriving on July 5, 2016. The spacecraft traveled a total distance of roughly 2.8×109 km (19 AU; 1.7×109 mi) to reach Jupiter. The spacecraft was designed to orbit Jupiter 37 times over the course of its mission. This was originally planned to take 20 months.

What did Juno discover during its mission to Jupiter? ›

Juno found that Jupiter has three times more water than the Sun, putting to bed a decades-old mystery. In 1995 the Galileo spacecraft's measurements indicated that the planet was far more arid, which suggested that the early Solar System had a lot less water than we see today.

What will happen to Juno after the mission? ›

However, Juno will only escape death for so long. Come September 2025—with nowhere near enough fuel to escape Jupiter's gravity and so continue on a journey through the cosmos—its orbit will rapidly decay until it enters Jupiter's upper atmosphere, heats-up and burns.

What is NASA mission to Jupiter moons? ›

NASA's Europa Clipper will conduct detailed reconnaissance of Jupiter's moon Europa and investigate whether the icy moon could have conditions suitable for life.

Are we getting closer to Jupiter? ›

Jupiter is coming closer to Earth than it has since 1963. This is due to Earth and Jupiter's differing orbits around the sun, they do not pass each other at the same distance each time.

Can humans get close to Jupiter? ›

The planet is mostly swirling gases and liquids. While a spacecraft would have nowhere to land on Jupiter, it wouldn't be able to fly through unscathed either. The extreme pressures and temperatures deep inside the planet crush, melt, and vaporize spacecraft trying to fly into the planet.

Will Juno return to Earth? ›

Juno will never return to Earth. According to NASA, Juno's mission will officially end in September 2025, or until the spacecraft can no longer function.

Is the Juno mission still going? ›

End of Mission

Juno's investigation of Jupiter will continue through September 2025, or until the spacecraft's end of life.

What are some fun facts about the Juno mission? ›

Juno is the most distant solar-powered spacecraft ever

The spacecraft set the record in January, when it was about 493 million miles (793 million kilometers) from the sun, surpassing the distance of the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft during the latter's journey to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Is Juno a happy ending? ›

—Juno." The film ends in the summertime with Juno and Paulie playing guitar and singing together, in a happy relationship.

Did Juno give the baby away? ›

While Juno initially wants an abortion, she ultimately decides to give the baby up for adoption to a couple, Mark and Vanessa Loring.

Who did Juno get pregnant with? ›

Juno is a 16-year-old teenage girl from the suburbs of St. Paul, Minnesota. When the movie begins, she is pregnant with her first child, via a one-night stand with Paulie Bleeker.

Can we land on Jupiter's moons? ›

The transportation of humans to Europa would be one of the primary challenges to colonization. Since Jupiter is on average 630.4 million kilometers away from Earth at a given time, it would take at least 3 years just to get into Europa's orbit plus additional time to land.

Can Jupiter replace the Moon? ›

If Jupiter were as close to Earth as the moon, our planet would become one of the gas giant's moons. Its gravity would also bring volcanic destruction to Earth. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Is one of Jupiter's moons habitable? ›

'Europa is one of the best candidates for habitability because the liquid water is in direct contact with the silicate mantle. ' Another important factor regarding the habitability of the moons is how much radiation from Jupiter is hitting them.

Will Jupiter's storm ever end? ›

At the present rate of reduction, it will become circular by 2040. It is not known how long the spot will last, or whether the change is a result of normal fluctuations. In 2019, the Great Red Spot began "flaking" at its edge, with fragments of the storm breaking off and dissipating.

How many years until Jupiter is close to Earth again? ›

Closest in 70 Years

Its perihelion will occur in January 2023. So, as Jupiter hits its opposition on route to its perihelion, the Giant Planet is closer to Earth at this opposition than it has been since 1951!

How many years till Jupiter is close again? ›

Jupiter at opposition September 26, 2022, closest in 70 years.

Which planet can human live on? ›

Flexi Says: Right now and for the foreseeable future, humans can only live on Earth. Humans have not traveled very far into space. The Moon is the only other place humans have visited. No other planet in our solar system currently has the conditions to support life as we know it on Earth.

Will humans ever go to Pluto? ›

The exploration of Pluto began with the arrival of the New Horizons probe in July 2015, though proposals for such a mission had been studied for many decades. There are no plans as yet for a follow-up mission, though follow-up concepts have been studied.

Can we live on Titan? ›

Additionally, Titan's rivers, lakes and seas of liquid methane and ethane might serve as a habitable environment on the moon's surface, though any life there would likely be very different from Earth's life.

What will Juno do? ›

Juno will orbit Jupiter 37 times, coming within 4,200 kilometers (2,600 miles) of the tops of the planet's clouds.

Did Jupiter love Juno? ›

Juno was the jealous wife of Jupiter, the king of the gods. Jupiter was very unfaithful. When Jupiter fell in love with Io, he changed himself into the shape of a dark cloud to hide himself from his jealous wife Juno. However, Juno looked down on earth and noticed the small cloud.

How is Juno being powered? ›

Juno uses a spinning, solar-powered spacecraft in a highly elliptical polar orbit that avoids most of Jupiter's high radiation regions. The designs of the individual instruments are straightforward and the mission did not require the development of any new technologies.

Where is Voyager 1 now? ›

Voyager 1 is currently in the constellation of Ophiucus.

Has Jupiter been visited by a human made object? ›

While Jupiter has been known since ancient times, the first detailed observations of this planet were made by Galileo Galilei in 1610 with a small telescope. More recently, this planet has been visited by passing spacecraft, orbiters and probes.

How much does the Juno mission cost? ›

Juno is a NASA mission to Jupiter that cost roughly $700 million and launched on June 30, 2010.

Why did NASA extend the Juno mission? ›

The natural evolution of Juno's polar orbit around the gas giant provides new science, and the extension was crafted to conserve the mission's single most valuable resource — fuel.

What planet did Juno visit? ›

After a successful launch, Juno parked into orbit, coasting the inner solar system awaiting a slingshot toward Jupiter by earth's gravity. The small craft flew by earth one last time in October 2013, propelling itself forward into the depths of the solar system.

Why does Juno have a camera? ›

It was included on the spacecraft specifically for purposes of public engagement but has proven to be important for science investigations also. The camera was originally designed to operate in Jupiter's high-energy particle environment for at least seven orbits but has survived far longer.

What mental illness does Juno have? ›

Juno has ADHD, which is rare to see in film, but even rarer to see in female characters. ADHD is thought of as something for rowdy boys, but it actually goes underdiagnosed in women.

Does Juno have a mental illness? ›

Juno (Rated PG-13)

Lead character, Juno, is notably smart and quick-witted. She also exhibits symptoms of ADHD, such as struggling to control her impulses and figuring out how to deal with complex emotions.

What age did Juno get pregnant? ›

Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, an offbeat young woman makes a selfless decision regarding the unborn child. It started with a chair and two teens. Juno, 16 years old is now pregnant. With the thought of an abortion she quickly changes her mind and decides to keep her baby and put the baby up for adoption.

How long does it take Juno to orbit Jupiter? ›


Because polar orbits are best for mapping and monitoring a planet, many satellites that study the earth follow a similar path. This type of orbit has never been tried around Jupiter. Juno takes 11 days to complete a revolution while Jupiter takes only 10 hours to spin around once.

How fast did Juno travel to Jupiter? ›

Was Juno jealous of Jupiter? ›

Ovid (Fasti, Book V) relates that Juno was jealous of Jupiter for giving birth to Minerva from his own head.


1. NASA Juno Spacecraft Capture The volcano-laced surface of Jupiter’s moon Io
2. Real Images From Jupiter: What NASA Really Saw There
(The Secrets of the Universe)
3. Juno Just Got The Closest View Of Europa in 22 Years
4. Juno Flies Past the Moon Ganymede and Jupiter, With Music by Vangelis
5. NASA's Discoveries Deep Within Jupiter's Clouds and Moons | Juno Year 6 Update
6. Mission Juno - Great documentary on Jupiter and NASA's Juno probe
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