On Monday NASA’s Juno house probe, which has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016, will get a close-up take a look at Jupiter’s greatest moon Ganymede, the company stated in a press release. It will likely be the closest NASA has gotten to the most important moon within the photo voltaic system for greater than 20 years— Galileo cruised by Ganymede in 2000— coming inside 645 miles of its floor. The knowledge Juno gathers will give perception into the moon’s composition and ice shell, in addition to present knowledge for future missions to Jupiter.
“Juno carries a set of delicate devices able to seeing Ganymede in methods by no means earlier than attainable,” stated principal investigator Scott Bolton of the Southwest Analysis Institute in San Antonio. “By flying so shut, we are going to convey the exploration of Ganymede into the 21st century, each complementing future missions with our distinctive sensors and serving to put together for the subsequent technology of missions to the Jovian system.”
These missions embrace NASA’s Europa Clipper (launch date nonetheless TBD) and the European Area Company’s JUpiter ICy moons Explorer [JUICE] mission, slated to launch subsequent yr and arrive at Jupiter in 2029 (and kudos to the ESA for going the additional mile on that acronym).
Ganymede is greater than Mercury and is the one moon within the photo voltaic system with its personal magnetosphere, which NASA describes as “a bubble-shaped area of charged particles” that surrounds it. The JunoCam, which has taken lots of the most putting photographs of Jupiter throughout its mission will solely be capable of snap about 5 photographs through the flyby, since Ganymede will seem and fade from view all inside a 25-minute window. Three hours earlier than Juno will get to its closest level close to Ganymede, its science devices will start gathering knowledge.
“Actually each second counts,” stated Matt Johnson, Juno mission supervisor at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “On Monday, we’re going to race previous Ganymede at nearly 12 miles per second (19 kilometers per second).” And fewer than 24 hours later, Juno will make its 33rd science cross of Jupiter, he added.
Juno is predicted to get closest to Ganymede at about 1:35PM ET on Monday. You may monitor the place Juno is now with NASA’s Eyes on the Solar System interactive.