Jupiter is getting ready for its closeup.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been speeding through the solar system for five years in the hopes of making it into orbit around Jupiter Monday night.
A new photo and video NASA released just hours before the big event show the basketball court-sized spacecraft closing in on the huge planet.
Juno’s newest photo shows Jupiter and its four Galilean moons — Europa, Io, Callisto and Ganymede — as seen by the spacecraft’s JunoCam instrument on June 29, when the probe was 3.3 million miles from Jupiter.
“This is the beast we’re going after,” Juno principal investigator Scott Bolton said while unveiling the picture during a press conference here at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
A timelapse video also shows JunoCam’s view on approach to Jupiter over the course of a couple days.
“In all of history, we’ve never really been able to see the motion of any heavenly body against another,” Bolton said during another press conference Monday.