The primary two photos from NASA Juno’s June 7, 2021, flyby of Jupiter’s big moon Ganymede have been obtained on Earth.
The pictures – one from the Jupiter orbiter’s JunoCam imager and the opposite from its Stellar Reference Unit star digital camera – present the floor in exceptional element, together with craters, clearly distinct darkish and vibrant terrain, and lengthy structural options presumably linked to tectonic faults.
“That is the closest any spacecraft has come to this mammoth moon in a technology,” mentioned Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton of the Southwest Analysis Institute in San Antonio. “We’re going to take our time earlier than we draw any scientific conclusions, however till then we are able to merely marvel at this celestial surprise.”
Utilizing its inexperienced filter, the spacecraft’s JunoCam visible-light imager captured virtually a complete facet of the water-ice-encrusted moon. Later, when variations of the identical picture come down incorporating the digital camera’s crimson and blue filters, imaging specialists will have the ability to present a coloration portrait of Ganymede. Picture decision is about 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) per pixel.
This picture of the darkish facet of Ganymede was obtained by Juno’s Stellar Reference Unit navigation digital camera throughout its June 7, 2021, flyby of the moon. Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI
As well as, Juno’s Stellar Reference Unit, a navigation digital camera that retains the spacecraft on the right track, offered a black-and-white image of Ganymede’s darkish facet (the facet reverse the Solar) bathed in dim gentle scattered off Jupiter. Picture decision is between 0.37 to 0.56 miles (600 to 900 meters) per pixel.
“The circumstances during which we collected the darkish facet picture of Ganymede have been preferrred for a low-light digital camera like our Stellar Reference Unit,” mentioned Heidi Becker, Juno’s radiation monitoring lead at JPL. “So this can be a completely different a part of the floor than seen by JunoCam in direct daylight. Will probably be enjoyable to see what the 2 groups can piece collectively.”
The spacecraft will ship extra photos from its Ganymede flyby within the coming days, with JunoCam’s uncooked photos being made accessible right here.
The solar-powered spacecraft’s encounter with the Jovian moon is predicted to yield insights into its composition, ionosphere, magnetosphere, and ice shell whereas additionally offering measurements of the radiation atmosphere that can profit future missions to the Jovian system.
Extra In regards to the Mission
JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott J. Bolton, of the Southwest Analysis Institute in San Antonio. Juno is a part of NASA’s New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA’s Marshall Area Flight Heart in Huntsville, Alabama, for the company’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Lockheed Martin Area in Denver constructed and operates the spacecraft.
Extra details about Juno is accessible at:
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