by Tariq Malik, Managing Editor
A NASA spacecraft will zoom by Earth today (Oct. 9) to use the planet's gravitational pull as a speed boost for its trip to Jupiter and you can see live views of the probe live online during the flyby.
NASA's Juno probe will be a mere 347 miles (558 kilometers) from Earth and over South Africa when it makes its closest approach at 3:21 p.m. EDT (1921 GMT). Later tonight, at 9:30 p.m. EDT (0130 GMT), the online Slooh Space Camera will track the Juno spacecraft's Earth flyby live in a free webcast.
You can watch the Juno flyby webcast live on SPACE.com, courtesy of Slooh. Viewers can also ask questions via Twitter using the hashtag #nasajuno. [See photos of NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter]
"Besides watching on Slooh, viewers near Cape Town, South Africa, will have the best opportunity to view the spacecraft traveling across the sky," Slooh officials said. "The spacecraft will most likely not be visible to the unaided eye, but binoculars or a small telescope with a wide field should provide an opportunity to view."
NASA launched the Juno in August 2011 on a mission to study Jupiter in unprecedented detail when it arrives at the gas giant planet on July 4, 2016. The $1.1 billion Juno mission to Jupiter will use nine instruments to probe deep inside Jupiter to reveal glimpses into the planet's origin, structure, atmosphere and magnetic field. It is named after Juno, the mythological wife of the god Jupiter who used special powers to learn the secrets Jupiter had hidden beneath cloud cover. ...more