Questions for ‘Juno’s knocking on Jupiter’s door’

Jupiter globe

Scientists have long studied Jupiter with telescopes, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, which created this image. But the Juno spacecraft will give them an even closer look.

NASA, ESA, E. Karkoschka/Univ. Arizona

To accompany feature “Juno’s knocking on Jupiter’s door”


Before Reading: 

1.  Draw the sun and the eight planets in our solar system, labeling each one. Where is Jupiter in relation to Earth?

2.  With a partner, research Jupiter. What is the planet made of? Does it have any moons? If so, how many?

During Reading: 

1.  In Roman mythology, who were Jupiter and Juno?

2.  Why do many spacecraft visit Jupiter but not spend much time observing the planet?

3.  Why did the Galileo spacecraft spend more time observing Jupiter’s moons than Jupiter itself?

4.  What is the Great Red Spot?

5.  What would happen if you tried to stand on the surface of Jupiter?

6.  Why are scientists interested in Jupiter’s water?

7.  What will be Juno’s top speed when the spacecraft is orbiting Jupiter?

8.  How will Juno avoid Jupiter’s dangerous belts of high-energy radiation and charged particles?

9.  How are Jupiter’s auroras different from those that occur on Earth?

10.  How will the Juno mission end?

After Reading: 

1.  Using information from this story and elsewhere, compare and contrast Earth and Jupiter. Describe three ways in which the planets are similar, and three ways they are different.

2.  NASA and others are talking about sending humans to Mars sometime in the next few decades. Would it ever be possible to send humans to Jupiter? Why or why not?


1. The fastest cars in the world can travel at some 435 kilometers per hour (270 miles per hour). At that speed, how long would it take, in days, to drive to Jupiter using Juno’s path? How many months and years?