NASA’s Juno spacecraft is scheduled to enter orbit around our solar system’s largest planet on the July 4th holiday. While the probe will be trying to avoid fireworks on Independence Day, it will instead be treated to an amazing view of Jupiter, a colorful globe of storms 300 times more massive than the Earth.
read more

Continuing it’s role as our solar system’s cosmic vacuum cleaner, the planet Jupiter swallowed up an object that was estimated to be similar in size to the meteorite that exploded over Chelyabinsk in Russia in 2013 — an incident that reportedly caused property damage and injuries to approximately 1,500 people. But, despite being 674.5 million km (419.1 million miles) away, the spectacular explosion the impact caused was recorded by modest-sized telescopes here on Earth.
read more

In recent years, space probes have found hints that various celestial bodies in our solar system have conditions where life could develop, but as of yet, no direct evidence has been uncovered by these missions. The European Space Agency has announced plans to send a new space probe to Jupiter, in an effort to determine whether there is indeed life there or not.
read more

Shuttle space trips may be over, but spacecraft launches are still going on, and on August 5th, NASA launched the spacecraft Juno, which will explore Jupiter’s secrets. Astronomers think that the presence of Jupiter may help explain how the Earth came to exist.

Jupiter is huge–the rest of our solar system would fit inside it, with room to spare. Scientists think that large planets like this, in an outer orbit, absorb some of the blows from asteroids that might otherwise destroy smaller, inner planets (like Earth), so they are on the lookout for solar systems that contain Jupiter-like planets.
read more