How to understand this NASA animation of Juno's passes near Jupiter?
Like much of the stuff coming out of JPL and SWRI regarding Juno, this leaves me unimpressed. The animation has labels that are unexplained, a slowly rotating Jupiter that is unexplained, big jumps in time whose presence was not divulged, and an obviously nonsense star field that I suspect was added just for the "Wow!" effect.
I see Orion pass by around 00:30 to 00:36, that's a clue.
It is a clue that this is not a good video. It would have been better to have left the background black.
Here's my best guess with regard to how what you are seeing was created:
Juno's 36 orbits about Jupiter were simulated and then expressed in terms of a Jupiter-fixed frame. Only the parts in the close vicinity of Jupiter are depicted.
As a time-lapsed animation, almost all (97.6%) of this will be extremely boring because Juno is not in the video frame. The only interesting parts are the 8 hours of the 14 day orbit where Juno passes very close to Jupiter. These 8 hours are the scientifically interesting bits. The boring bits were skipped over.
A frozen 3D image of Jupiter was added to the animation. Having a frozen image is not quite correct as different parts of Jupiter rotate at slightly different rates. Over Juno's 36 orbits, the equatorial regions will have rotated eleven times more than will have the polar regions. This is not shown in the video.
The entire simulation was set into a slow animated rotation to show that these 36 science passes do a nice job of evenly covering Jupiter.
A star field was added for "Wow!" effect. If done correctly, the star field would move quickly (the 8 hour long science pass is more than 80% of Jupiter's rotation period) and then jump to reflect the 13 days and 16 hour time jump, move quickly and then jump, doing that 36 times. This star field is purely synthetic (i.e., it's bogus).
What kind of orbits are not considered "Gravity orbits"?
What is an MWR orbit?
What kind of orbits are in white (not labeled in the legend)?
Regarding the coloring and labels on the orbits, Two of the nine experiments being conducted by Juno are mutually incompatible with one another. These two experiments turn out to be two of Juno's primary reasons for being, which are peering into Jupiter's atmosphere and assessing its gravitational field.
Juno doesn't have any sensors to measure gravity (sensing gravity is very, very hard). Instead, variations in Doppler shift in the science data return from Juno as received on Earth give clues to Jupiter's gravity field. This means using the high gain antenna, which in turn means that Juno needs to orient itself so the high gain antenna points at Earth. (The high gain antenna is not pointable except by pointing Juno as a whole.)
The microwave radiometer (MWR), which is used to peer into Jupiter's atmosphere, has conflicting requirements on Juno's pointing. The radiometer needs to be pointed toward Jupiter and the spacecraft needs to be oriented so as to minimize multipath interference. (If you have a smartphone with a GPS receiver, you may have noticed that it doesn't work so well in downtown areas with tall skyscrapers. That's because of extreme multipath interference.) Pointing the HGA toward Earth is a non-option when the MWR is is use.
The two orbits in white represent the very first orbits about Jupiter, where the MWR is not yet active and high precision orbit monitoring via X-band and Ka-band Doppler shift is not yet being performed. The "gravity orbits" are where that Doppler monitoring is being performed, and the "MWR orbits" are where the microwave radiometer is active.