Videos: Ride along with Juno as it flies by Jupiter’s swirling clouds

The Juno probe is in a wide elliptical orbit around Jupiter that sends it way out into space far from the gas giant at one end of the ellipse and then down close to the cloud tops at the other. Below are videos showing imagery of Jupiter, enhanced to bring out the cloud patterns, as if one were riding on the spacecraft during its most recent two passes close to the planet:

Here is a diagram of Juno’s orbit:

The orbit lasts 53.5 days. The original plan was to fire the spacecraft’s main engine to make the orbit more circular and smaller so that it  lasted only 14 days (shown by the set of green-blue orbits in the diagram). However, problems with the engine valves led mission managers to decide it was safest to leave the spacecraft in the original wide orbit.

When a satellite is in orbit around earth, the two extremes of the orbital ellipse are referred to as apogee (farthest from earth) and perigee (closest to earth). As explained in the Oxford dictionary, “gee” derives as follows:

from French apogée or modern Latin apogaeum, from Greek apogaion (diastēma), ‘(distance) away from earth’, from apo ‘from’ + gaia, gē ‘earth’.

So for an orbit around Jupiter, the terms have been replaced with apojove and perijove, using the Latin word Jove for Jupiter.

Note that it was discovered by Kepler that orbits were ellipses rather than circles. He also noticed that an object in orbit around a large body will move fastest at the low point and slowest at the high point in the ellipse. (Newton later used his calculus math tools with the laws of motion and the inverse squared law of gravity to explain these key features of orbital mechanics.) So Juno’s passes above the cloud tops very quickly at perijove and then takes a long slow trip up to apojove and back.

Video: Flying above Mars

Check out filmmaker Jan Fröjdman‘s marvelous tour of some of the weird and wonderful features on the Mars surface using images captured by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO): A Fictive Flight Above Real Mars –  Vimeo

Part of the caption:

The anaglyph images of Mars taken by the HiRISE camera holds information about the topography of Mars surface. There are hundreds of high-resolution images of this type. This gives the opportunity to create different studies in 3D. In this film I have chosen some locations and processed the images into panning video clips. There is a feeling that you are flying above Mars looking down watching interesting locations on the planet. And there are really great places on Mars! I would love to see images taken by a landscape photographer on Mars, especially from the polar regions. But I’m afraid I won’t see that kind of images during my lifetime.

It has really been time-consuming making these panning clips. In my 3D-process I have manually hand-picked reference points on the anaglyph image pairs. For this film I have chosen more than 33.000 reference points! It took me 3 months of calendar time working with the project every now and then.

The colors in this film are false because the anaglyph images are based on grayscale images. I have therefore color graded the clips. But I have tried to be moderate doing this. The light regions in the clips are yellowish and the dark regions bluish. The clips from the polar regions (the last clips in the film) have a white-blue tone.There are a lot of opinions and studies of what the natural colors on Mars might be. But the dark regions of dust often seems to have a bluish tone. Please study this issue on e.g sites by NASA.



EarthKAM captures the Grand Canyon

EarthKAM is a camera aboard the International Space Station that is controlled by middle-school students participating in the Sally Ride Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (i.e. Sally Ride EarthKAM) program. Students recently took this terrific image of the Grand Canyon:

Space Station’s EarthKAM Sees the Grand Canyon

View of the Grand Canyon with EarthKAM [Large image.]
On April 3, 2017, the student-controlled EarthKAM camera aboard the International Space Station captured this photograph of a favorite target — the Grand Canyon — from low Earth orbit. The camera has been aboard the orbiting outpost since the first space station expedition began in November 2000 and supports approximately four missions annually. Mission 58 begins in fall 2017, and interested middle school students and teachers can sign up at the EarthKAM website.

The Sally Ride Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (Sally Ride EarthKAM) program provides a unique educational opportunity for thousands of students multiple times a year. EarthKAM is an international award-winning education program, allowing students to photograph and analyze our planet from the perspective of the International Space Station. Using the Internet, students control a special digital camera on the orbiting laboratory to photograph Earth’s coastlines, mountain ranges and other interesting geographical topography.

Image Credit: Sally Ride EarthKAM

The Space Show this week – May.29.2017

The guests and topics of discussion on The Space Show this week:

1. Monday, May 29, 2017: 2-3:30 pm PDT (5-6:30 pm EDT, 4-5:30 pm CDT): No show due to the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend.

2. Tuesday, May 30 , 2017: 7-8:30 pm PDT, 10-11:30 pm EDT, 9-10:30 pm CDT: We welcome WALLACE TUCKER to the program to discuss his new book, Chandra’s Cosmos: Dark Matter, Black Holes, and other wonders revealed by NASA’s Premier X-RAY Observatory.

3. Wednesday, May 31, 2016: John Batchelor is on a fact finding working travel project. There will be no Hotel Mars program this week.

4. Friday, June 2, 2017; 9:30-11 am PDT, 12:30-2 pm EDT, 11:30 am – 1 pm CDT: We welcome back DR. MARSHALL KAPLAN for his new ideas on orbital debris issues and more.

5. Sunday, June 4, 2017: 12-1:30 pm DST (3-4:30 pm EDT, 2-3:30 pm CDT): No show today due to David  Livingston personal day.

See also:
* The Space Show on Vimeo – webinar videos
* The Space Show’s Blog – summaries of interviews.
* The Space Show Classroom Blog – tutorial programs

The Space Show is a project of the One Giant Leap Foundation.

The Space Show - David Livingston
David Livingston