Planets and Moons  ID: 4839

Juno Interplanetary Dust: Visualizations

Look up to the night sky just before dawn, or after dusk, and you might see a faint column of light extending up from the horizon. That luminous glow is the zodiacal light, or sunlight reflected toward Earth by a cloud of tiny dust particles orbiting the Sun. Astronomers have long thought that the dust is brought into the inner solar system by a few of the asteroid and comet families that venture in from afar. But now, a team of Juno scientists argues that the planet Mars may be the culprit. An instrument aboard the Juno spacecraft serendipitously detected dust particles slamming into the spacecraft during its journey from Earth to Jupiter. The impacts provided important clues to the origin and orbital evolution of the dust, resolving some mysterious variations of the zodiacal light.

This page provides a data visualization of Juno’s trajectory from Earth to Jupiter, and the interplanetary dust cloud that it traversed along the way. Learn more about this discovery.

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Visualization Credits

Kel Elkins (USRA): Lead Visualizer
Dan Gallagher (USRA): Lead Producer
John Connerney (NASA/GSFC): Lead Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

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Data Used:
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

SVS >> Dust
SVS >> Dust Cloud
SVS >> Jupiter
SVS >> Mars
SVS >> Juno
SVS >> Animations
SVS >> Zodiacal Light
SVS >> Interplanetary
SVS >> Trajectory
SVS >> Hyperwall
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons