A probe the size of a basketball court has taken unprecedented new images of Jupiter.
NASA’s $1 billion Juno spacecraft, launched in August 2011, took five years to reach and settle into orbit around the gas giant, which is located more than 415 million miles from Earth.
Juno repeatedly swings by Jupiter in a wide arc to minimize time inside the planet’s intense radiation belts, which can damage sensitive electronics.
Now flybys happen about once every 2 months.
Juno completed the fifth such maneuver on March 27, recording a fresh batch of images and streaming that raw data back to Earth. Bow amateur astronomers are beginning to turn the gray, unprocessed photos into brilliant full-color images.
Here are a handful of our favorite shots from the fifth orbit, plus a few other images that space fans have recently uploaded to Juno’s website from previous flybys.