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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

 

New Horizons visits Jupiter Tomorrow

Image Credit NASA/John Hopkins University. (click to enlarge).

The New Horizons spacecraft will make its closest approach to Jupiter in 16 hours from now. It will use Jupiters gravity to slingshot itself across the Solar System to Pluto and the Kupier belt. This will slow Jupiters rotation by a minute fraction. At the moment the spacecraft is gathering impressive images of Jupiter. It will also survey Jupiters rings and follow Jupiters magnetosphere. The image to the left is a mosaic of 4 images from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI). You can see the Great Red Spot on the lefthand side of the image, and Red Spot Jr on the far right of the image. Hopefully New Horizons can make more detailed observation of Red Spot Jr. See the LORRI gallery for more images.

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