About three weeks before NASA’s Juno spacecraft entered its orbit around Jupiter, it began to take images of its approach. NASA compiled these images to create an awesome time-lapse movie of Juno’s approach, capturing the captivating motion of the Galilean moons around Jupiter.
The movie begins on June 12, when Juno is some 10 million miles from Jupiter and it ends on June 29 just 3 million miles away. The innermost moon is volcanic Io. The next over is the ice-crusted water world of Europa, which scientists think could possibly harbour life. Then there’s Ganymede, the largest of Jupiter’s moons. Last, you can see Jupiter’s second largest moon, the crater-ridden Callisto.
“Galileo observed these moons to change position with respect to Jupiter over the course of a few nights,” NASA writes. “From this observation, he realised that the moons were orbiting mighty Jupiter, a truth that forever changed humanity’s understanding of our place in the cosmos. Earth was not the center of the Universe. For the first time in history, we look upon these moons as they orbit Jupiter and share in Galileo’s revelation. This is the motion of nature’s harmony.”
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