4,769,543 words. 5,664 posts.

Dramatic New Juno Images Reveal Hidden Details of Our Solar System’s Largest Moon

by | Jun 9, 2021 | New, News

Words are powerful; if you change your words, you can change your life.

— Joyce Meyer

(NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS) SPACE Dramatic New Juno Images Reveal Hidden Details of Our Solar System's Largest Moon author logo MORGAN MCFALL-JOHNSEN, BUSINESS INSIDER 9 JUNE 2021

Grey, heavily cratered, and peering out from the black of space, Ganymede looks a lot like our moon. But the icy rock is more than 650 million kilometers (400 million miles) away – it's the largest moon in the Solar System, and it circles Jupiter.

NASA's Juno spacecraft has been rocketing around Jupiter since 2016, but on Monday, it zipped past Ganymede, coming within 1,000 km (650 miles) of the moon. No spacecraft had gotten that close in more than two decades – the last approach was NASA's Galileo spacecraft in 2000.

In just 25 minutes, Ganymede went from being a distant point of light from Juno's vantage point to a looming, round disk, then back to a point of light. It was just enough time for the probe to snap five photos.

NASA released the first two images on Tuesday; they're the most detailed snapshots ever captured of the gargantuan moon.

"This is the closest any spacecraft has come to this mammoth moon in a generation," Scott Bolton, who leads the Juno spacecraft team, said in NASA's press release.

"We are going to take our time before we draw any scientific conclusions, but until then we can simply marvel at this celestial wonder – the only moon in our Solar System bigger than the planet Mercury."

Scientists believe that Ganymede may host an ocean of salty water 800 km (500 miles) beneath its icy shell – which would hold more water than Earth does. It's also the only moon in the Solar System with its own magnetic field, which creates an aurora at its poles. Scientists hope the Juno flyby will help them learn more about both Ganymede's ice shell and its magnetic field.

The first Juno image, below, captures almost an entire side of the ice-encrusted moon. Each pixel covers about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles).


This image is just from the Juno camera's green-light filter. In the coming days, NASA expects to receive more images from the spacecraft, including those captured with its red- and blue-light filters. That will allow the agency to create a colorful portrait of Ganymede.

Juno's black-and-white navigation camera also snapped a photo, below, of Ganymede's dark side.


It's visible thanks to light scattered from Jupiter.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

More from Business Insider:

  • Hong Kong is so desperate to get people vaccinated that it's auctioning off a Tesla, a year's worth of stays at a 5-star hotel, and a $1.4 million apartment
  • Wisconsin pharmacist who sabotaged 500 vaccine doses was sentenced to 3 years in prison, says he feels 'desperately sorry and ashamed'
  • Some cities think Elon Musk's tunnel could be the solution to their transportation issues but experts are skeptical
  • OAN correspondent who is covering the Arizona election audit has been aiding the effort since at least December, documents show
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rebukes Joe Manchin over opposition to HR 1, says conservative lobbying firms are doing 'victory laps' over his decision not to eliminate the filibuster

View Original Article

Site VisitorsMap

Recent News

Site Statistics

314 registered users
4,769,543 words
5,664 posts, 2 comments
10252 images