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NASA Juno and the Jupiter Ganymede Meeting: The First Two Images

NASA Juno and the Jupiter Ganymede Meeting: The First Two Images

Not only Mars! rest of Solar System It deserves some attention (if budget allows). In these hours the probe NASA Juno Make a close flight with natural satellite From JupiterAnd the Ganymede. Thanks to the powerful means of the Deep Space Network, we already have the first photos taken during the meeting.

JunoCam image (green filter): Click to enlarge

Remember that this mission started in “far” August 2011 arrived at Jupiter in 2016. A feature of this probe is that in order to maintain stable trajectories, it rotates around its axis allowing for simpler maneuvers. Moreover, despite the distance from the Sun (solar radiation 25 times less than Earth), NASA Juno Large solar panels use 20m of power, not RTG.

Ganymede photos taken by NASA Juno

NASA Juno I managed to get closer to the moon than Jupiter (and also bigger than Mercury), Ganymede, managed to take particularly detailed pictures. The JunoCam and the stellar reference unit. No probe has ever been able to get this close.


NASA Juno Stellar Reference Unit image

In both cases, craters can be seen on the icy surface of the natural satellite, which also feature what could be tectonic faults. Currently, engineers and scientists are still evaluating the data and it may take weeks or months to get the first scientific conclusions. But opportunities like this must be seized “On the fly” Due to the difficulty of carrying out missions in the outer solar system.

Details of my picture of Jupiter’s moon

The JunoCam Use a green filter to capture the downloaded photo in these hours. In the future, others captured with red and blue filters will also arrive to save one color photography. To improve the quality of images, it is preferable to use sensors with pixels that capture as much light as possible and instead of having an RGB scheme like classic commercial sensors, color filters are placed between them. over there Precision everything is okay 1 km / pixel.

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JunoCam CCD sensor where you can see the three color filters

The stellar reference unit From NASA Juno Usually used to read “sky” and allow determining the correct position of the probe. This time instead it was used to get a black and white image of the side opposite the Sun Ganymede (Illuminated by the reflected light of Jupiter). In this case, the resolution is variable from 600 m/pixel to 900 m/pixel.

The choice to use what would be a navigation camera was deliberate. In fact, this side of the satellite was much less illuminated than the side of the Sun, but the SRU had no particular problems with accommodating details.

New pictures will come in the future and will be available Even RAW images can be processed by users as well as by scientists. In addition to the images, data on the composition, ionosphere, magnetosphere, ice composition and the amount of radiation emitted by Jupiter were also collected.