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Juno Above Jupiter's Pole (Artist's Concept) Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Where is Juno?
As of November 5, 2014, Juno is approximately 389 million miles (626 million kilometers) from Earth. The one-way radio signal travel time between Earth and Juno is currently about 35 minutes. Juno is traveling at a velocity of approximately 30,084 miles per hour (13.45 kilometers per second) relative to the sun, and 56,882 miles per hour (25.43 kilometers per second) relative to Earth. Juno has now travelled 1.46 billion miles (2.3 billion kilometers, or 15.77 AU) since launch, and has another 294 million miles (473 million kilometers or 3.16 AU) before entering Jupiter’s orbit in July 2016. The Juno spacecraft remains in excellent health and is operating nominally.
Did you know that at closest approach, Juno will fly to within only 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) above Jupiter’s cloud tops?
If Jupiter were the size of a basketball, the equivalent distance would be only about 0.315 inches (8 mm)! This close proximity allows Juno to take extremely accurate measurements of Jupiter’s gravitational and magnetic fields. It also allows the spacecraft duck underneath the planet’s harmful radiation belts, greatly reducing exposure to the charged particles that damage the spacecraft’s electronics.
Juno proximity at closest approach, with Jupiter to the scale of a basketball. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech