Apr 12, 2011

Juno Launches in August

A mission to Jupiter takes off this August to explore our solar system's largest planet in-depth

The Juno spacecraft passes in front of Jupiter in this artist's depiction. Juno, the second mission in NASA's New Frontiers program, will improve our understanding of the solar system by advancing studies of the origin and evolution of Jupiter. The spacecraft will carry eight instruments to investigate the existence of a solid planetary core, map Jupiter's intense magnetic field, measure the amount of water and ammonia in the deep atmosphere, and observe the planet's auroras. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 Key things to know about Juno

Spacecraft launches in August 2011
Five-year cruise to Jupiter, arriving July 2016
One year at Jupiter will complete the mission (orbiting the planet 32 times)
Juno will improve our understanding of our solar system’s beginnings by revealing the origin and evolution of Jupiter.

Specifically, Juno will… Determine how much water is in Jupiter’s atmosphere, which helps determine which planet formation theory is correct (or if new theories are needed) Look deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere to measure composition, temperature, cloud motions and other properties Map Jupiter’s magnetic and gravity fields, revealing the planet’s deep structure Explore and study Jupiter’s magnetosphere near the planet’s poles, especially the auroras – Jupiter’s northern and southern lights – providing new insights about how the planet’s enormous magnetic force field affects its atmosphere.

For more information see: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/juno/main/index.html

Photo I took of Jupiter thru my telescope.
September 11, 2010
Click photo to enlarge

Hosted by Arlee Bird of Tossing it Out http://tossingitout.blogspot.com/