Saturday, November 11, 2017

String of Pearls on Jupiter’s Surface

Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/ Seán Doran

The color-enhanced view captures one of the white ovals in the “String of Pearls,” one of eight massive rotating storms at 40 degrees south latitude on the gas giant planet. The image was taken on Oct. 24, 2017 as Juno performed its ninth close flyby of Jupiter.

At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was 33,115 kilometers from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a latitude of minus 52.96 degrees. The spatial scale in this image is 22.3 kilometers/pixel.

Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran processed this image using data from the JunoCam imager.

The probe's journey began just over five years ago, on August 5, 2011, and it arrived at its destination, Jupiter's orbit, on July 4 this year (in Italy, it was at dawn on the following day) after travelling a distance of approximately three billion kilometers. 

Juno's goal is to analyse the Jupiter’s characteristics as representative of the giant planets. The Solar System’s ‘heavyweight’ can, in fact, offer fundamentally important data not only for gaining deeper knowledge of the origin of the System itself, but also for analyzing those of the planetary systems that are gradually discovered around other stars, with particular reference to those exoplanets that have a similar mass to that of Jupiter. 

Juno's heart is the Italian JIRAM (Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper), financed by ASI, built by Leonardo-Finmeccanica and operated under the scientific responsibility of INAF's Institute of Astrophysics and Planetology (IAPS). 

Juno's other Italian component is KaT (Ka-Band Translator), a radio science instrument designed by the 'La Sapienza' University of Rome, built by Thales Alenia Space Italia (A Thales/Leonardo-Finmeccanica company) again with ASI's support.

Credit: asi.it

1 comment: