by Matthew Cobb
Juno is the name of a NASA spacecraft which is heading for Jupiter, where it will arrive on 4 July 2016. To get there it performed a gravity-aided swing through the solar system, including a fly-past Earth two months ago, on 9 October. NASA have now released two fantastic videos of the fly-past. The first shows Juno’s view of the Earth and the moon as it approaches us and our natural satellite. The celestial ballet is exquisite. The second video is quite eerie. NASA arranged for hundreds of radio hams to send the message “Hi” in Morse Code to Juno as she whizzed by, and Juno recorded the result. The outcome is what First Contact would sound like were one of our probes to go past an inhabited radio-using planet, or what it would sound like to aliens, were they to come mooching around. Quite amazing. To see how they did it, watch the third video.
Earth and the moon:
How NASA set up the “Hi Juno” experiment: