Our solar system's largest planetary resident has long mystified scientists wondering what lies within and below the gas giant'slayers. NASA's Juno spacecraft, which launched in 2011 and entered Jupiter's orbit in 2016, aims to take a closer look at Jupiter and answer some of our biggest questions about the planet and the solar system as a whole.
A special episode of the Science Channel series "Space's Deepest Secrets" will explore the Juno mission and what it continues to reveal about Jupiter. This episode, titled "Space's Deepest Secrets: Secret History of the Juno Mission," premieres tonight, July 10, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
As stated in thisteaser clip for the episode, Jupiter "holds the secrets to how the whole solar system formed, how it got started, how planets are made."
The Juno mission has so far showed scientists that "our ideas were totally wrong about the interior structure, about the atmosphere [and] even about the magnetosphere" of Jupiter, Juno mission principal investigator Scott Bolton said in a statement on Jan. 9. In June 2018, NASA officials announced that the Juno mission is extended at least through July 2021. So, the spacecraft will continue to explore the many layers that make up this gas giant.
Aside from collecting data to shape our ever-evolving understanding of the solar system, Juno has also captured stunning images of Jupiter, from swirling auroras to massive polar cyclones.
After all, as is stated in the teaser video, "what's the point of building a spacecraft if you're not going to send it somewhere cool and interesting?"
Email Chelsea Gohd at email@example.com or follow her @chelsea_gohd. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.