No probe has had a good view of Jupiter’s largest moons since 2000, when NASA Galileo spaceship Beyond the alien world, it is the largest moon in the entire solar system. But on Monday, June 7, at 1:35 p.m. EDT (5:35 p.m. GMT), NASA Juno The spacecraft will fly 1,038 kilometers (645 miles) above Ganymede’s surface, collecting a large number of scenes.“Juno carries a suite of sensitive instruments capable of seeing Ganymede in ways that weren’t possible before,” said lead researcher Scott Bolton, a space scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. He said in a statement from NASA. “By flying so close, we’ll bring Ganymede’s exploration into the 21st century.”
Belong to: Images of Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon
Ganymede is a wonderful world for scientists. Although it is positioned as a moon, it is larger than a small planet Mercury It is the only moon to have a magnetic field, a bubble of charged particles called a magnetosphere. So far, the only spacecraft to get a good glimpse of Ganymede has been NASA’s twin. the passenger in 1979 and the Galileo spacecraft that flew over the moon in 2000.
The Jovian supermoon will be a primary target of the European Space Agency’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer mission, known as juice, which is scheduled to launch next year and reach the Jupiter system in 2029. But that’s a long time to wait, and Juno, launched in 2011, carries much more powerful technology than the Voyagers and Galileo spacecraft.
So scientists are happy to take advantage of Juno’s opportunity. During the flyby, it will monitor several instruments from the Ganymede spacecraft, including three different cameras, radios, an ultraviolet spectrometer (UVS), the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM), and a microwave radiometer (MWR).
The instrument’s latest measurements are particularly interesting to scientists, who hope to use them to identify different components in the lighter and darker regions of the Ganymede icy crust.
Among the cameras studying the moon, there will of course be the same نفس JunoCam Who took such stunning photos of the gas giant throughout the mission. However, since the frozen moon will appear and disappear in just 25 minutes, mission scientists expect the instrument to be only able to take five images of Ganymede during the encounter.
But despite the excitement of an unusual moon fly, Juno scientists can’t lose sight of an important milestone in the wake of the Ganymede investigation, when the spacecraft makes another flyby of its usual target. Jupiter Himself.
“Literally every second counts,” Matt Johnson, Juno mission manager at JPL, said in the same statement. “On Monday we will pass Ganymede at about 12 miles per second (19 kilometers per second). Less than 24 hours later, we pass Jupiter’s 33rd science pass—crying low above the cloud tops, at about 36 miles per second (kilometers per second).
This means that Juno will approach Ganymede at about 43,200 mph (69,523 km/h), and then orbit Jupiter at a whopping 129,600 mph (208,571 km/h). But Juno is the right choice, Johnson said.
“It would be a crazy rush.”
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