Photo by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center on Flickr.com
On February 25, 2022, the NASA Juno spacecraft observed Ganymede drop a sizable black mark on Jupiter during its 40th close flyby.
As a result of JunoCam’s close proximity to Jupiter, Ganymede’s shadow seems particularly large in this view. The Juno spacecraft was 15 times closer to Jupiter than Ganymede at the time the raw image was obtained, flying roughly 44,000 miles (71,000 kilometers) above the tops of the planet’s clouds.
A total eclipse of the Sun would be visible to observers at Jupiter’s cloud tops who are inside the oval shadow. On Jupiter, total eclipses occur more frequently than on Earth for a number of reasons: Jupiter has four main moons: Ganymede, Io, Callisto, and Europa. These moons frequently pass between Jupiter and the Sun, and because their orbital planes are near Jupiter’s own, the planet frequently experiences moon shadows.