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Giove, Io ed Europa nella foto della NASA

Jupiter’s moons like we’ve never seen them before

there NASA You just posted an amazing picture of Jupiter and its moons me and europe: The image was captured by the probe Juno During observations last January 12, the satellite shows Jupiter like we’ve never seen it before. The two moons are photographed in orbit around their planet, partially illuminated by the sun as it passes near Jupiter’s southern hemisphere, two of the most fascinating worlds in the solar system.

Me and Europe, two wonderful moons

subordinate 79 moons orbiting Jupiter, only four of them were large enough to be visible from Earth using technical tools available in the 17th century: I, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto discovered by Galileo GalileiIt is thus defined from the Galilean or “Medicean” satellite.

The four moons of Galilee are also the biggestamong those on Jupiter, and in almost all probability formed 4 and a half billion years ago, from the “waste” material that arose from the birth of their planet. I, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto . are often identified ‘mini solar system’: They formed in a similar way, and they are the same age as the planets that revolve around the sun.

The two moons depicted in this NASA image have always fascinated scientists: So The It is the celestial body with the largest volcanic activity in the entire solar system, so powerful that it affects the appearance of the mother planet, Europe For decades now, it has been the dream of those hoping to find traces of extraterrestrial life.

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The first clues that may be found on Europe Oceans of liquid water date back to Voyager missions In the late seventies. Today, scientists believe that the ice crust that hides the oceans of Europe is 15-25 kilometers thick, and the waters are up to 150 kilometers deep. According to the latest calculations, therefore, although Europa is only a quarter the size of the Earth, and is smaller than our moon, it can still contain up to Twice the amount of water on our planet.

Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

Juno and unpublished images of Jupiter

After the Voyager missions, the probe also visited Jupiter’s moons Galileo (1989-2003) heroic Cassini Huygens (1997-2000) and new HorizonsWho encountered Jupiter in 2007 and its danger is on its way to Pluto.

Today’s probe JunoAnd the It was launched in 2011, participates in observing Jupiter and its moons, and every day sends out incredible images that show us the largest planet in the solar system as we have not seen it before. This last fascinating image shows the southern half of the planet illuminated by the Sun: watching closely, the two satellites Io, on the left, and Europa, the smaller in perspective, appear on the right from the black background of interplanetary space. At the time he took the photo, the Juno spacecraft was nearby 61,000 km from Jupiterat about 52 degrees south latitude.

In its long orbits around the planet, Juno was capable of this Solve many unresolved questions: first measure the depth big red spotbut also magnetic field Jupiter, which indicates that it is 10 times more powerful than previously thought. As shown for the first time in detail North Pole From the planet, with the aurora borealis, e her dark side.

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Will return again to satellite imaging of Jupiter, but more closely, in September 2022When is it scheduled? Closest flight from mysterious Europe – One of the most eagerly awaited occasions by the community of astronomers. Juno will be back to deal with explosives instead Thethe deepest Galilean moons of Jupiter, between late 2023 and early 2024.