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Me and Juno – MEDIA INAF

Me and Juno – MEDIA INAF

This image of Io's north pole was taken on October 15 by the Juno probe. Credits: NASA/Jpl-Caltech/Swri/Msss, Ted Strick

I face to face It is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, December 30th. This will be the closest encounter ever in the past 20 years between a space probe and Jupiter's small moon Io, the most volcanic world in the solar system. NASA's Juno probe will fly over the deepest of the four Medici moons at a distance of about 1,500 kilometers from the surface, collecting – mission managers promise – a huge amount of information.

“Combining the data from this flew by From our previous observations, the Juno science team is studying how Io's volcanoes differ Main investigation In Juneau, Scott BoltonFrom the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio (USA). “We are investigating the frequency of eruptions, their brightness, the temperature, how the shape of the lava flow changes and the relationship between Io's activity and the flow of charged particles in Jupiter's magnetosphere.”

A second flyby, again at the same distance of 1,500 kilometers from the lunar surface, is scheduled for February 3, 2024. It will be added to this tomorrow and to several flybys already carried out in the past: Juno in fact has already observed the Moon up close for volcanic activity. From distances ranging between 11,000 and 100,000 kilometers, providing images of its poles for the first time. The probe is also credited with numerous flybys of Ganymede and Europe, in addition to 56 flew by About Jupiter.

“I'm because flew by Bolton continues: “Juno will use December and February to investigate the origin of Io's intense volcanic activity, the presence of a magma ocean beneath its crust, and the importance of the tidal forces exerted by Jupiter, which relentlessly distort this tortured moon.”

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During the flew by All three cameras on board the probe will be activated: the Stellar Reference Module, a stellar navigation camera also capable of providing high-resolution science data; JunoCam, which will capture color images in visible light; Finally, the Italian Jerram spectrograph (funded by ASI, built by Finmeccanica and under the scientific responsibility of Alessandro Mura of INAF in Rome), capable of taking infrared images.