New Delhi: NASA's Juno spacecraft has successfully completed its first Jupiter flyby, however, scientists are still curious about the solar system's largest planet.
One of the main reasons for their curiosity is the existence of many similar planets that orbit other stars.
Hot Jupiters, Cold Jupiters, maybe even Jupiters bigger than Jupiter itself – there are many versions of our own king size one.
Astronomers claim that the existence of millions of these Jupiter-like planets could actually help us better understand our solar system and galactic environment and could also aid in discovering life besides Earth.
It will be a very long time, if ever, before scientists who study exoplanets – planets orbiting other stars – get the chance to watch an interstellar probe coast into orbit around an exo-Jupiter, dozens or hundreds of light-years away. But if they ever do, it's a safe bet the scene will summon echoes of Juno.
"The only way we're going to ever be able to understand what we see in those extrasolar planets is by actually understanding our system, our Jupiter itself," said David Ciardi, an astronomer with NASA's Exoplanet Science Institute (NExSci) at Caltech, NASA reported.
Juno's detailed examination of Jupiter could provide insights into the history, and future, of our solar system. The tally of confirmed exoplanets so far includes hundreds in Jupiter's size-range, and many more that are larger or smaller.
NASA further reported that, if Juno's measurements can help settle the question, they could take us a long way toward understanding Jupiter's influence on the formation of Earth -- and, by extension, the formation of other "Earths" that might be scattered among the stars.