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LORRI Looks Back
Release Date: July 27, 2010
New Horizons had an exciting flyby encounter with Jupiter in early 2007, and the spacecraft has been rapidly moving away from the giant planet ever since. The New Horizons team looked back at Jupiter during Annual Checkout (ACO)-4 to test the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI)'s ability to image targets close, in angle, to the Sun. This image was taken on June 24, 2010, when New Horizons was 16.3 astronomical units (about 1.5 billion miles) from Jupiter, at a spacecraft-Sun-planet angle of only 17 degrees. Looking like Earth's moon at a quarter phase, Jupiter is clearly resolved, with an apparent diameter of nearly 12 LORRI pixels. LORRI also picks up the moons Ganymede and Europa, even though the exposure time was only nine milliseconds and these Galilean satellites are extremely faint in comparison to Jupiter.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute