NASA has released the last image of Jupiter from the agency’s Juno spacecraft before it attempts to enter the planet’s orbit tonight. The color image was taken on June 29th, with Juno 3.3 million miles away from the gas planet. Juno has now powered down its instruments to avoid any issues during orbit insertion.
If all goes as planned Juno will slow down by 1,200 miles per hour using its main engine and enter a 53-day orbit of Jupiter right before midnight tonight. Given how far away Juno is from Earth, everything must go according to plan, as it takes nearly an hour for Juno to receive any new directives from NASA, or to send notice of any issues back to the space agency. We’ll have ongoing coverage of Juno’s attempt to orbit Jupiter throughout the day.