December 1, 2014 - Pioneer 11 at Jupiter
Pioneer 11 at Jupiter Launched in 1973, the Pioneer 11 spacecraft this week celebrates the fortieth anniversary of its 1974 encounter with Jupiter. Among Pioneer 11’s contributions to the understanding of Jupiter were the first direct observations of Jupiter’s polar regions, dramatic images of the Great Red Spot, and the determination of the mass of Jupiter’s moon Callisto. This image, taken from a distance of 760,000 km (472,000 mi), is the last of Pioneer 11’s approach images that contain the full disk of Jupiter. It shows quite clearly that Pioneer 11 approached Jupiter from below, giving it a great view of the southern hemisphere on approach and an equally unique view of Jupiter’s northern hemisphere as it receded. Five years after this encounter, Pioneer 11 became the first spacecraft to visit Saturn.
Image credit: Processed image © Ted Stryk; Original prints scanned to create this image courtesy NASA / Ames Research Center.
December 1-7 2014
Holidays - Sky Events - Space History
Uranus 1.2° south of Moon
1974: Pioneer 11 closest approach to Jupiter during flyby
1988: STS-27 Atlantis launched
1990: STS-35 Columbia launched
1992: STS-53 Discovery launched
1993: STS-61 Endeavour launched
1995: SOHO launched
Full Moon 7:27 AM ET