NASA has just released the first photo of Jupiter’s largest satellite, Ganymede, taken by the Juno probe during its flyby.
Juno passed Ganymede on June 7 and made the closest approach at a speed of 66,800 kilometers per hour, approximately 1,000 kilometers from its surface. This is the closest probe to the moon since Galileo in 2000. The picture above was taken by JunoCam, which captured almost the entire side of Ganymede at a resolution of 1 km per pixel. Another published image was taken by the stellar reference unit, showing a portion of the dark side of the moon illuminated by Jupiter itself. More pictures will be provided in the coming days.
For many reasons, scientists are particularly interested in Ganymede. It has a metallic core and is the only satellite in the solar system with its own magnetic field (although it is well buried by the magnetic field produced by the behemoth Jupiter).