The US space agency NASA published the first images of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede. “Noteworthy details” can be seen in the photos.
Washington DC – Jupiter’s moon Ganymede is the largest moon in our solar system. Thanks to NASA’s Juno probe, there are now spectacular images of Ganymede. The images show craters that NASA says are due to tectonic disturbances. “This is the closest spacecraft to this mammoth moon in a generation,” said Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. The Juno probe reached Jupiter in the summer of 2016 and has orbited the planet since then.
NASA’s Juno probe provides detailed images of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede
The two pictures Juno took on June 7th show the surface in remarkable detail. One of the photos was taken by the JunoCam on board the probe with a green filter. Ganymede was photographed with a resolution of 1 pixel per kilometer. Later, when versions of the same image with the camera’s red and blue filters are released, image experts can create a color portrait of Ganymede, NASA explains.
The second image is from Juno’s Stellar Reference Unit, which is keeping the probe on course. It is a black and white image with a resolution of 600 to 900 meters per pixel of the dark side of the Jupiter moon. “We’ll take our time before drawing any scientific conclusions, but until then we can just marvel at this heavenly wonder,” said Bolton.
Thanks to Juno, NASA has already been able to gain initial knowledge about Ganymede
Thanks to the Juno probe, NASA has already been able to observe that the north pole of Ganymede differs significantly from the south pole of the Jupiter moon. The reasons for this are currently being researched. In the coming days Juno is supposed to deliver more pictures of Ganymede.
With the help of the space probe, the US space agency wants to gain insights into the composition, ionosphere, magnetosphere and ice shell of the Jupiter moon. In addition, Juno will provide measurements of the radiation environment, which future missions to the Jupiter system will benefit from, according to NASA.
The Jupiter moon Ganymede is the largest moon in our solar system with a diameter of 5262 kilometers. For comparison: our planet earth has a diameter of 12,742 kilometers. It was probably discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610. The planet Venus is also of interest to NASA. Venus is to be investigated by two new NASA missions. (jsch)
List of rubric lists: © NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / dpa