NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew simply 352 kilometres above Jupiter’s moon Europa, sending again terribly detailed photographs of the floor
29 September 2022
NASA’s Juno spacecraft has taken the closest photographs of Jupiter’s moon Europa in additional than twenty years. On 29 September, it flew simply 352 kilometres above the floor of the icy moon, solely the third time any spacecraft has been inside 500 kilometres of it. The photographs from this daring swoop are terribly detailed.
On the time of the flyby, Juno was travelling at practically 24 kilometres per second, so it solely had a two-hour window to gather detailed knowledge earlier than it sailed away once more. In that point, it took footage and picked up knowledge on the moon’s floor composition, inside construction and its interplay with the magnetic subject of Jupiter. The images reveal ridges and channels slicing throughout Europa’s floor, in addition to small influence craters.
“The science crew might be evaluating the total set of photographs obtained by Juno with photographs from earlier missions, trying to see if Europa’s floor options have modified over the previous twenty years,” stated Sweet Hansen on the Planetary Science Institute in Arizona in a press release. “The JunoCam photographs will fill within the present geologic map, changing current low-resolution protection of the world.”
This new knowledge will assist researchers put together for the Europa Clipper mission, which is about to launch in 2024 in an effort to find out whether or not the frigid moon might host life beneath its icy shell. Except for its deep subsurface ocean, the Juno knowledge ought to reveal whether or not there are shallow pockets of liquid water throughout the shell.
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