Today -- July 31 -- NASA's Juno Jupiter probe will reach the farther point in its orbit of the giant gas planet. As it swings back towards Jupiter, the spacecraft's instrumentation will begin to send back historic data that should prove to revolutionize our understanding of the solar system and beyond.
According to a media release, at 3:41 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) or 19:41 GMT, NASA's Juno spacecraft will be about 5 million miles or 8.1 million kilometers from Jupiter. The farthest point of Juno's orbit is known as the "apojove." At that point, Jupiter's strong gravitational field will begin to pull it back towards the planet and the eagerly awaited data will begin its transmission. On August 27, Juno will finish its first orbit of the giant gas planet, finishing 2,600 miles or 4,200 kilometers from the tops of its cloud cover, which will be its closest encounter with Jupiter.