Jupiter’s high-altitude photographed from a distance of 1.4 million miles on February 28, 2007. Source: The Atlantic
Before Pluto: The Other Awe-Inspiring New Horizons Photos
Two of Jupiter’s largest moons, the volcanic Io (left) and the icy Ganymede (right), photographed from a distance of 42.5 million miles on January 17, 2007. Source: The Atlantic
While you’ve definitely seen the new Pluto photos and you probably know that those photos are the fruit of the New Horizons’ nearly ten-year journey, you may not realize all that happened along the way. It zipped past our moon (within nine hours of launch), flew close by a 1.6-mile wide asteroid (that just happened to be in its path), and crossed the orbit of every planet between here and Pluto.
Chief among those planetary confrontations was Jupiter, which New Horizons photographed from late 2006 to mid-2007. And perhaps it’s just that Jupiter is our solar system’s largest planet or that it’s orbited by dozens of moons (one of the largest of which has over 400 volcanoes) or that it’s shrouded in swirling clouds, but these photos might just be the most stunning ones that New Horizons captured. For more under-the-radar images from the New Horizons mission, visit The Atlantic.
A 190-mile high volcanic plume erupts from Io (right, with two smaller volcanic plumes also visible), alongside Europa (left), another of Jupiter’s largest moons, both photographed from a distance of about 2.5 million miles on March 2, 2007. Source: The Atlantic