Since it arrived at Jupiter in 2016, NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been probing beneath the dense, forbidding clouds encircling the giant planet – the first orbiter to peer so closely. It seeks answers to questions about the origin and evolution of Jupiter, our solar system, and giant planets across the cosmos.




Aug. 5, 2011




Explore the Jovian system

juno firsts

juno arrives

First solar-powered spacecraft operating at Jupiter.

Five engineers in cleanroom suits inspect the Juno spacecraft's massive solar panels before launch.

Farthest solar-powered spacecraft from Earth.

Detailed view of Jupiter and its immense swirling cloud patterns.

First mission to orbit an outer planet from pole to pole.

Illustration of the tri-winged spacecraft over the planet Jupiter, which is tan and white striped, with a streak of blue above the Great Red Spot, a swirling orange storm on Jupiter, at lower left

Closest orbiter to Jupiter, grazing deadly radiation belts.

great red spot swirling in Jupiter's clouds

Highest-resolution images ever captured at Jupiter.

After enduring a five-year, 1.7 billion-mile journey from Earth, and navigating the dangerous radiation in Jupiter's extensive magnetic field, Juno has provided breathtaking images and breakthrough discoveries from Jupiter and its moons. And in their quest to engage and inspire the public, the Juno mission team shares the data and pictures with the world, fueling citizen science and creative artistry.

Embarking on 53-day orbits reaching from Jupiter’s cloud tops to the frontiers of its magnetic field, Juno has upended our views of the gas giant and its surroundings. The spacecraft recently answered a decades-old question about winds on Jupiter extending hundreds of miles toward the planet’s interior. Juno is scheduled to continue investigating the solar system’s largest planet, its moons, faint rings, and surrounding environment through September 2025.

Art and Science: A Sampler of Jupiter Images from JunoCam

Juno's Io Encounters

Consecutive flybys of Jupiter's moon Io – the most volcanic world in our solar system – offered the nearest view since the Galileo orbiter visited in 2001.

Juno had monitored Io from afar since the spacecraft arrived at Jupiter in 2016. Then, as part of its 57th and 58th orbits around the giant planet, Juno came within roughly 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) of Io's surface – less than the distance between Los Angeles and Seattle. The close passes, on Dec. 30, 2023, and Feb. 3, 2024, allowed scientists to compare data and images from these visits with previous observations that Juno and other craft made of this volatile world, slightly larger than Earth's Moon. Io is caught in a tug-of-war between Jupiter's powerful gravity and the smaller pull from two neighboring moons, churning its insides and creating eruptions and lakes of lava that cover its surface. Meanwhile, the gravitational pull Io exerted on Juno during the Feb. 3 flyby has reduced the spacecraft’s orbit around Jupiter to 33 days. It originally had been circling Jupiter and its environs in 53-day orbits, after it arrived at the king of planets on July 4, 2016.

Read More About the Dec. 30 Flyby
A rust-colored sphere is shown against a black background. The left half is concealed in shadow, with only a very dim outline visible. The right half is fairly well-lighted, with the surface smooth in some areas and in others covered with splotches and peaks of light tan, or spots and dimples of dark orange or dark grayish brown.
Jupiter's turbulent moon, Io, captured during a close approach by NASA's Juno spacecraft on Dec. 30, 2023. Juno's flyby was the closest of any spacecraft since the Galileo orbiter's visit two decades earlier, and brought Juno within about 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) of Io, the most volcanic world in our solar system. This image was compiled from JunoCam's red, blue, and green filters, from an altitude of 1,764 miles (about 2,840 km), during Juno's 57th orbit around Jupiter.

Jupiter's Volatile Moon, Io

The turbulent world is dotted with hundreds of volcanoes, some erupting so powerfully they're visible with large telescopes on Earth

The moon – one of four that astronomer Galileo Galilei discovered to be orbiting Jupiter in 1610 – is caught in a gravitational tug-of-war between its sibling moons, Europa and Ganymede, and the massive Jupiter. This creates tremendous tidal forces, like ocean tides on Earth, but which cause Io's solid surface to bulge up and down (or in and out) by as much as 330 feet (100 meters).

Read More About Io
Just hours before NASA's Juno mission completed its 53rd close flyby of Jupiter on July 31, 2023, the spacecraft sped past the planet's volcanic moon Io and captured this dramatic view of both bodies in the same frame.
Just hours before NASA's Juno mission completed its 53rd close flyby of Jupiter on July 31, 2023, the spacecraft sped past the planet's volcanic moon Io and captured this dramatic view of both bodies in the same frame. The surface of Io is marked by hundreds of volcanoes that regularly erupt with molten lava and sulfurous gases. Juno will gather additional images and data from its suite of scientific instruments during even closer passes in late 2023 and early 2024. To create this image, citizen scientist Alain Mirón Velázquez processed a raw image from the JunoCam instrument, enhancing the contrast, color, and sharpness. At the time the raw image was taken on July 30, 2023, Juno was about 32,170 miles (about 51,770 kilometers) from Io, and about 245,000 miles (about 395,000 kilometers) above Jupiter's cloud tops.
Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS
Image processing by Alain Mirón Velázquez © CC BY