JUICE spacecraft takes flight!
On April 14th, the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) was launched from French Guiana. As night fell over Nordic countries, astrophotographer Ville Puoskari trained his telescope on the spacecraft hurtling across the sky.
In the accompanying animation, viewers can spot two points of light: JUICE on the right and the Ariane 5 rocket on the left. The objective of the JUICE spacecraft is to conduct numerous flybys of Jupiter's moons Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede, and eventually enter into orbit around Ganymede. The scientific objectives primarily revolve around studying Jupiter and it’s system, with a specific emphasis on Ganymede as a planetary entity and a probable habitat.
It is possible that JUICE will remain an accessible for even small amateur telescopes in the coming nights – Use the NASA’s Horizon system to find coordinates for your viewing location!