Tuesday October 16, 2018

NASA’s Juno spacecraft to make its Fifth flyby over Jupiter’s mysterious Cloud Tops

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Jupiter, Source: NASA
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Washington, March 26, 2017: NASA said its Juno spacecraft will make its fifth flyby over Jupiter’s mysterious cloud tops on Monday.

At the time of closest approach, Juno will be about 4,400 km above the planet’s cloud tops, moving at a speed of about 57.8 km per second relative to the gas-giant planet.

All of Juno’s eight science instruments will be on and collecting data during the flyby.

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“This will be our fourth science pass — the fifth close flyby of Jupiter of the mission — and we are excited to see what new discoveries Juno will reveal,” said Scott Bolton, Principal Investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, US.

“Every time we get near Jupiter’s cloud tops, we learn new insights that help us understand this amazing giant planet,” Bolton said in a statement.

Launched on August 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Juno arrived in orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016.

During its mission of exploration, Juno soars low over the planet’s cloud tops.

During these flybys, Juno probes beneath the obscuring cloud cover of Jupiter and studying its auroras to learn more about the planet’s origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.

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The Juno science team continues to analyse returns from previous flybys. Scientists have discovered that Jupiter’s magnetic fields are more complicated than originally thought, and that the belts and zones that give the planet’s cloud tops their distinctive look extend deep into the its interior.

Observations of the energetic particles that create the incandescent auroras suggest a complicated current system involving charged material lofted from volcanoes on Jupiter’s moon Io.

Peer-reviewed papers with more in-depth science results from Juno’s first flybys are expected to be published within the next few months, NASA said. (IANS)

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Another Space Telescope Shuts Down: NASA

Launched by space shuttles in the 1990s, Hubble and Chandra are part of NASA's Great Observatories series.

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Second Space Telescope Shuts Down, NASA Says Pixabay

Another NASA space telescope has shut down and halted science observations.

Less than a week after the Hubble Space Telescope went offline, the Chandra X-ray Observatory did the same thing. NASA said Friday that Chandra automatically went into so-called safe mode Wednesday, possibly because of a gyroscope problem.

Hubble went into hibernation last Friday because of a gyroscope failure.

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This illustration made available by NASA shows the Chandra X-ray Observatory. On Oct. 12, 2018, the space agency said that the telescope automatically went into so-called safe mode on Oct. 10, possibly because of a gyroscope problem. VOA

Both orbiting observatories are old and in well-extended missions: Hubble is 28, while Chandra is 19. Flight controllers are working to resume operations with both.

NASA said it’s coincidental both went “asleep” within a week of one another. An astronomer who works on Chandra, Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, tweeted Friday that “Chandra decided that if Hubble could have a little vacation, it wanted one, too.”

Also Read: Astronomers Capture 15,000 Galaxies Using Hubble Telescope

Launched by space shuttles in the 1990s, Hubble and Chandra are part of NASA’s Great Observatories series. The others are the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, which was also launched in the 1990s but eventually failed and was destroyed, and the Spitzer Space Telescope, launched in 2003 and still working. Each was intended to observe the cosmos in different wavelengths. (VOA)

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