Juno is the first probe to get very close to Jupiter’s moon Ganymede in 20 years

NASA’s Juno probe is about to approach Jupiter’s moon Ganymede within hours. This will be the first time a spacecraft has approached a natural satellite in 20 years since the Galileo probe.

NASA’s Juno probe will fly over Ganymede today in 19 h 35, French time. No space probe has approached Jupiter’s moon since then Galileo was launched in 1989 by NASA’s Atlantis shuttle. In fact, Juno will only approach 1,038 kilometers from the largest moon in the solar system.

Geological and Mosaic Maps of Ganymede – Credits: USGS Astrogeology Science Center / Wheaton / NASA / JPL-Caltech

Juno took off on August 5, 2011. Entered In orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016. After a few weeks, The space probe was flying as close as possible to the planet. I took the opportunity to take incredible photos. Today, NASA’s Juno probe is preparing to perform another feat of flying over it One of Jupiter’s 79 natural satellites As soon as possible.

Juno will first fly over Ganymede before heading to Jupiter

In a statement released by NASA, researcher Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio explained that: Juno carries a set of sensitive instruments capable of seeing Ganymede in a way that was not possible before. By flying so close, we will bring Ganymede exploration into the 21st century ».

Ganymede has not yet revealed all his secrets to the scientific community. This moon is of special interest to researchers because it is located around The only moon with a magnetosphere. This means that it has a magnetic field. To observe Ganymede, Juno will use three different cameras, radio instruments, an ultraviolet spectrometer (UVS), a microwave radiometer (MWR) and Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM).

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Finally, Juno obviously wouldn’t be satisfied with just observing Ganymede. Less than 24 hours after approaching the moon, NASA’s space probe will do its job The thirty-third scientific survey of Jupiter. Furthermore it, Its atmosphere was recently revealed in several images under different lights.

Source : Space.com

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