And since this dramatic discovery, many generations of astronomers have trained their telescopes on Jupiter in a bid to learn more. NASA has made efforts to glean information about the planet, too, sending the probe Pioneer 10 into orbit in 1972. Then, after a 21-month journey to get to Jupiter, Pioneer 10 began sending invaluable data back to scientists on Earth.
Subsequently, several missions have been made to Jupiter, with each one uncovering intriguing facts about the planet and its environment. Then, in August 2011, NASA launched Juno – a spacecraft destined for orbit around Jupiter. And nearly five years and over 1.7 billion miles later, the probe arrived at its destination.
Named after the goddess Juno in Roman and Greek mythology, the craft had an important mission. Over a seven-year period, it would collect data about a number of factors, including Jupiter’s magnetic and gravity fields, the planet’s composition and its polar magnetosphere – or the extent to which it affects the solar wind.