In November 1974, Pioneer 11 became the first spacecraft on Earth to visit Jupiter. Humans have probably been fascinated by this bright spot in the sky since we began looking toward the sky, and our oldest astronomical records show regular sightings of this vast planet. Then in early 17th-century Italy, Galileo built his telescope and identified Jovian's tapes with four moving points. These are the moons of Io, Europe, Ganymede and Callisto.
Includes 383 Earth masses, Jupiter is the largest member of the solar system, and NASA has sent five missions to investigate it. However, a difficult planet to visit: In addition to our Sun, Jupiter has the largest magnetic field in the solar system. Such an extreme radiation environment can easily fry life-sustaining electronics that approach it ("close" here means millions of miles). This magnetic field is so large, in fact, that if you can see it in visible light, it will look like the size of a full moon in our sky ̵
1; even though the giant planet itself is about 500 miles from Earth.  This week we will mark, along with several different space missions, to Jupiter, taking its majesty from all angles and in unprecedented detail.
Ready to go beyond Jupiter? Browse the entire collection of outer space here.