Jupiter’s satellite tv for pc Ganymede is an intriguing place: It’s the largest moon in the photo voltaic system, being larger than Mercury, and unusually for a moon it has its personal environment and magnetic subject. Tomorrow, June 7, the Jupiter exploration probe Juno will carry out a flyby of the moon, offering the closest encounter with it in many years.
No mission has come this near Ganymede in over 20 years, because the Galileo spacecraft made a ultimate shut method in 2000. It was this mission that found the moon’s magnetic subject and captured the information used to make the maps illustrated on the high of this web page. Extra lately, the New Horizons probe handed by Ganymede on its strategy to Pluto, selecting up some readings because it glided by in 2007.
However to know extra about this intriguing place, we have to ship extra particular devices there. That’s what Juno can provide, with its trendy devices like its Ultraviolet Spectrograph (UVS), Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM), and Microwave Radiometer’s (MWR).
“Juno carries a set of delicate devices able to seeing Ganymede in methods by no means earlier than attainable,” stated Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton of the Southwest Analysis Institute in San Antonio. “By flying so shut, we’ll deliver the exploration of Ganymede into the twenty first century, each complementing future missions with our distinctive sensors and serving to put together for the following era of missions to the Jovian system – NASA’s Europa Clipper and ESA’s [European Space Agency’s] JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (*20*) mission.”
Juno’s microwave radiometer instrument will probably be investigating the moon’s icy crust, which is assumed to cowl a saltwater ocean beneath.
“Ganymede’s ice shell has some mild and darkish areas, suggesting that some areas could also be pure ice whereas different areas comprise soiled ice,” stated Bolton. “MWR will present the primary in-depth investigation of how the composition and construction of the ice varies with depth, resulting in a greater understanding of how the ice shell varieties and the continued processes that resurface the ice over time.”
Juno’s cameras will get used as effectively, together with the beloved JunoCam which has taken many gorgeous photographs of Jupiter. Although it was supposed to be an instrument for public outreach quite than for scientific use, the researchers assume they’ll nonetheless use the pictures it collects to be taught extra about this moon.
The problem is the Juno will move by Ganymede in a short time, so the crew must act quick to get the information they need.
“Issues often occur fairly fast in the world of flybys, and we now have two back-to-back subsequent week. So actually each second counts,” stated Juno Mission Supervisor Matt Johnson of JPL. “On Monday, we’re going to race previous Ganymede at virtually 12 miles per second (19 kilometers per second). Lower than 24 hours later we’re performing our thirty third science move of Jupiter — screaming low over the cloud tops, at about 36 miles per second (58 kilometers per second). It’s going to be a wild experience.”