Juno mission explores the moons of Jupiter

(ORDO NEWS) — NASA‘s Juno mission, which has made close flybys of Ganymede and Europa, is set to acquire images of Io on Dec. 15 as part of an ongoing study of Jupiter’s inner moons.

Several papers based on information obtained during the flyby of Ganymede on June 7, 2021 have recently been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research and Geophysical Research Letters.

They include data on the moon‘s interior, surface composition and ionosphere, as well as the interaction of Ganymede with Jupiter’s magnetosphere.

Preliminary results from the Juno flyby of Europa on September 9 include the first 3D observations of the moon’s icy shell.

Juno’s Microwave Radiometer (MWR) has peered under the icy crust of Ganymede and Europa to provide structure and temperature data about 24 kilometers below the surface.

Visible light images from JunoCam and previous missions to Jupiter indicate that Ganymede’s surface is characterized by a combination of older darker landforms, younger lighter landforms and bright craters, as well as linear features that are potentially associated with tectonic activity.

During the spacecraft’s rendezvous with Ganymede in June 2021, the Juno Magnetic Field (MAG) and Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment (JADE) instruments recorded data indicating a break and transformation of the magnetic field links between Jupiter and Ganymede.

Jupiter’s moon Io, the most volcanic place in the solar system, will be the focus of the Juno team over the next year and a half. The December 15 survey is the first of nine planned flights.

Juno scientists will study Io’s volcanoes and how the eruptions interact with Jupiter’s powerful magnetosphere and auroras.


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