After flying nearly 10,000 km from its surface, the Juno probe captured incredible images of Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede. The photos (one of the Jupiter orbiter’s JunoCam imager and the other of its Stellar Reference Unit star camera) show the surface in remarkable detail, including craters and tectonic faults.
NASA’s Juno space probe recently flew over Jupiter’s giant moon Ganymede. A first in twenty years. The photos, one of the Jupiter orbiter’s JunoCam imager and the other of its Stellar Reference Unit star camera, show the surface in remarkable detail. It features craters, clearly distinct dark and luminous terrain, and long structural features possibly related to tectonic faults.
Juno captures high-quality images of the moon Ganymede
Ganymede is a fascinating moon for scientists. Despite its status, it is larger than the tiny planet Mercury. She is also the only moon to sport a magnetic field, a bubble of charged particles called magnetosphere. So far, the only spacecraft to have captured a good glimpse of Ganymede were NASA’s Voyager twin probes in 1979 and the Galileo spacecraft, which flew over the moon in 2000.
« Never has a spaceship come so close to this gigantic moon this generation Said Scott Bolton, one of Juno’s principal operators, of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “ We will take our time before drawing any scientific conclusions, but until then we can just marvel at this heavenly wonder. »
See also: Jupiter: fly over the giant planet through the eyes of the Juno probe
Using its green filter, the JunoCam Visible Light Imager captured almost an entire side of the moon, encrusted with ice. Later, when versions of the same image become available, incorporating the camera’s red and blue filters, imaging experts will be able to provide a color portrait of Ganymede. The resolution of the image is approximately 1 km per pixel.
The spacecraft will be sending more footage of its flyby over Ganymede in the coming days, with raw footage from JunoCam available here.