800px-Juno_separates_from_Centaur_upper_stage

Do you remember the spacecraft, Juno?  It was launched in August of 2011 with its mission being to study Jupiter.  This study will focus on Jupiter’s gravity and magnetic fields, as well as what makes up the planet’s composition.

 

To reach Jupiter it will take Juno about five years.  Although Juno was launched two years ago, it will use Earth as a slingshot passing about 350 miles from Earth’s surface.  This will not only give Juno a speed boost, but will also take a movie of Earth showing it spinning on its axis.  The flyby happened yesterday, and check out this great video explaining the process: