Both Voyager I and the Juno spacecraft photographed Jupiter (among other things). What is the difference in camera resolution between the two spacecraft? Did we receive larger photos from Juno?

  • $\begingroup$ Obviously this question fails to address absolute sensor size and lens size, both of which contribute to the photo quality. However, this DOES explain why some of the images that are released are heavily pixelated. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 21:37

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The cameras of Voyager had a resolution of 800 by 800 pixels, see. There are 8 bits per pixel. One with a 1500 mm telescope with a (horizontal and vertical) field of view of 0.424 degree (25.44 arcminutes) and a theoretical resolution of 1.18 arcseconds. The pixel resolution was 1.908 arcseconds. At the closest approach of Voyager 2 to Jupiter (570,000 km), the resolution was about 5.27 km/pixel.
The other wide angle camera with 202 mm focal length, a field of view of 3.169 degrees and a theoretical resolution of 2.87 arcseconds.

The camera of Juno has 1600 by 1200 pixels, see. Each pixel is digitized with 12 bits and converted to 8 bits for transmission. Some optics specs from here: The focal length is 11 mm and the field of view of about 58 degrees (horizontal). At Juno perijove altitude of about 5000 km the spatial scale is about 3 km/pixel. The images could be a mosaic of several individual frames taken as the spacecraft spun.

The pixel count of Voyager's camera is 625 kilopixel and of Juno 1875 kilopixel (1024 pixel for a kilopixel). So Juno has exactly 3 times the pixels of Voyager. Of course mosaic images made from several frames could have a higher pixelcount. Due to the much closer approach, the resolution in km/pixels of JunoCam is better.

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    $\begingroup$ I wonder if it is possible to add the angular resolution as well? I don't think it's necessary, but might be interesting. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ From those specs I'd say Voyager could photograph far smaller details on Jupiter, despite having a lower-resolution camera. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ To compare the details resolution, we also need the minimum distance from spacecraft to Jupiter for the Voyagers and Juno. I searched for that information but did not find it yet. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 8:48
  • $\begingroup$ The term to look for is 'closest approach'. 570,000 km for Voyager 2. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_2 $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 18:40

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