Thursday, 10 October 2013

Juno spacecraft captured on its way to Jupiter

The Juno spacecraft made a very close approach to Earth on 9th October 2013 at 19:21 UT, passing just 560 km above the sea near South Africa, before swinging around and heading out for Jupiter.

The images here were captured between 20:23:33 UT and 20:24:47 UT with Juno at an altitude of just 14 degrees, soon after it rose above the horizon, just over an hour after the close approach. Exposures were limited to 1 second to freeze the motion and allow positions to be measured.

Juno spacecraft 1 hour after close approach, moving at 800"/minute and at a distance of 42,500km from the observatory. 
Here a 20 second exposure shows Juno streaking in front of the distant stars, already much slower moving and more distant than the image above.
Juno spacecraft, 20 second exposure starting at 20:55:10 UT, moving at 370"/minute and at a range of 62,800km