The shadow of Jupiter’s biggest moon, Ganymede, dominates the view in a magnificent new photo from NASA’s Juno mission, Space.com reported on Sunday.
The view was created based on what the JunoCam instrument beamed home to Earth during the mission's 40th close pass by the giant planet on Feb. 25.
At the time, Juno was flying about 44,000 miles above the cloud tops of Jupiter.
NASA added that if a person could float within the oval seen in the picture, he would experience a total eclipse of the sun, explaining that total eclipses are more common on Jupiter than they are on Earth, because our solar system’s largest planet has four large moons.
Juno is on a long-term mission to learn more about the planet’s weather and dynamics. Scientists are also able to obtain a better understanding of how large exoplanets may behave in other solar systems by having the ability to study Jupiter from up close, according to Space.com
NASA cautions, however, that even though Juno is currently in good condition, it is expected to have a limited lifespan due to the amount of radiation the planet emits.
In addition, NASA scientists plan to intensively study the icy moons of Jupiter in about 10 years, when there are plans for visits from NASA’s Europ Clipper, as well as the European Space Agency's Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer.
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