We’ve seen plenty of stunning images of Jupiter and its moons, Ganymede, Europa, and Io, thanks to NASA’s Juno probe. However, the spacecraft recently had a glitch that cost it most of the images it had taken during the latest flyby. That’s over 200 photos that could have been used for scientific purposes as much as for admiration. And what’s concerning is – this is the second glitch in a row.
The orbiter’s most recent flyby of Jupiter took place on 22 January, and JunoCam imager didn’t record all the photos it was supposed to. “Data received from the spacecraft indicates that the camera experienced an issue similar to one that occurred on its previous close pass of the gas giant last month,” NASA writes in the statement. The Juno team saw an unusual temperature rise after the camera was powered on in preparation for the flyby.
As I mentioned, this anomaly happened for the second time in a row. However, there’s an additional concern. This time, the issue persisted for much longer: it lasted the entire 23 hours, compared to 36 minutes during the December close pass. As a result, the first 214 JunoCam images were left unusable.
Thankfully, when the temperature dropped again, the JunoCam returned to normal and the remaining 44 images were usable and of good quality, NASA notes. Still, the majority of them was lost, and NASA notes that the mission team is investigating the root cause of the anomaly, as well as mitigation strategies. “JunoCam will remain powered on for the time being and the camera continues to operate in its nominal state,” NASA concludes, and the spacecraft will make its 49th pass of Jupiter on 1 March 2023.
[via Space.com; image Credit: Data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS; Image processing: Thomas Thomopoulos]
FIND THIS INTERESTING? SHARE IT WITH YOUR FRIENDS!