Monday, May 16, 2011


The upcoming Juno Jupiter orbiter will include a camera that was originally intended for use as a public outreach tool.  The engineers at Malin Space Science Systems, which designed the Junocam camera, have enhanced it to include some scientific capabilities, including a near-IR band to map methane abundance.  You can read their press release at

Juno will also carry an infrared imager provided by the Italian Space Agency: ( and an ultraviolet imaging spectrometer.

Editorial Thoughts: Juno is an excellent mission on all accounts and will greatly deepen our understanding of Jupiter's origins, structure, atmosphere, and magnetosphere.  It should also, thanks to Junocam, provide stunning images of Jupiter's cloud decks as the spacecraft passes close to the planet.  The armchair explorer in me is hoping for a close up of the Great Red Spot.

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