Jupiter’s Irregular Satellites

The planet Jupiter has 67 confirmed moons. This gives it the largest retinue of moons with “reasonably secure” orbits of any planet in the Solar System. In fact, Jupiter and its moons are like a miniature solar system with the inner moons orbiting faster than the others. Eight of Jupiter’s moons are regular satellites, with prograde and nearly circular orbits that are not greatly inclined with respect to Jupiter’s equatorial plane. The remainder of Jupiter’s moons are irregular satellites, whose prograde and retrograde orbits are much farther from Jupiter and have high inclinations and eccentricities. These moons were probably captured by Jupiter from solar orbits. There are 17 recently discovered irregular satellites that have not yet been named.

Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Lowell Observatory/J. Spencer/JHU-APL

Jupiter’s Irregular Satellites

The planet Jupiter has 67 confirmed moons. This gives it the largest retinue of moons with “reasonably secure” orbits of any planet in the Solar System. In fact, Jupiter and its moons are like a miniature solar system with the inner moons orbiting faster than the others. Eight of Jupiter’s moons are regular satellites, with prograde and nearly circular orbits that are not greatly inclined with respect to Jupiter’s equatorial plane. The remainder of Jupiter’s moons are irregular satellites, whose prograde and retrograde orbits are much farther from Jupiter and have high inclinations and eccentricities. These moons were probably captured by Jupiter from solar orbits. There are 17 recently discovered irregular satellites that have not yet been named.

Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Lowell Observatory/J. Spencer/JHU-APL

As Voyager 1 flew by Jupiter in 1979, it captured the planet’s most obvious visible feature; the Great Red Spot. The Great Red Spot is an anticyclonic (high- pressure) storm that can be likened to the worst hurricanes on Earth. Cyclones develop due to the Coriolis effect where the lower latitudes travel faster than the higher latitudes producing a net spin on a pressure zone. The detailed structure in Jupiter’s atmosphere is dominated by physics known as fluid mechanics. Note that the atmosphere of Jupiter is so dense and cold that it behaves as a fluid rather than a gas. On Earth, the energy to power our storm systems comes from sunlight. Jupiter is too far from the Sun and receives very little energy. The energy needed to power all the turbulence in Jupiter’s atmosphere comes from heat released from the planet’s core.

Credit: James Schombert, NASA/JPL


Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and is the largest planet in the solar system, like the other four outer planets Jupiter is a gas giant. Jupiter is named after the king of the Roman gods – Jupiter has also been known as Zeus the Greek god of thunder and Marduk the Mesopotamian god and patron of the city of Babylon. 
Jupiter has been described as its own little solar system because of the vast number of moons orbiting the planet. There are 63 moons around Jupiter, the most of any planet in the solar system. Four in particular, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, are planet sized. In 2003 alone, 23 new moons were discovered. Reasons for this incredible number of moons include the strong gravitational force of the planet at 20.87 m/s2, more than double the gravitational force on Earth, and also the large magnetic field of the planet, which extends into Saturn’s orbit. Like Saturn, Jupiter also has rings, though they are only visible when backlit by the sun and believed to be comprised of dust kicked up from meteor collisions with the four biggest moons.

Image Credit: Steve Albers, NOAA/GSD

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and is the largest planet in the solar system, like the other four outer planets Jupiter is a gas giant. Jupiter is named after the king of the Roman gods – Jupiter has also been known as Zeus the Greek god of thunder and Marduk the Mesopotamian god and patron of the city of Babylon. 

Jupiter has been described as its own little solar system because of the vast number of moons orbiting the planet. There are 63 moons around Jupiter, the most of any planet in the solar system. Four in particular, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, are planet sized. In 2003 alone, 23 new moons were discovered. Reasons for this incredible number of moons include the strong gravitational force of the planet at 20.87 m/s2, more than double the gravitational force on Earth, and also the large magnetic field of the planet, which extends into Saturn’s orbit. Like Saturn, Jupiter also has rings, though they are only visible when backlit by the sun and believed to be comprised of dust kicked up from meteor collisions with the four biggest moons.

Image Credit: Steve Albers, NOAA/GSD

A simulation of Io transiting Jupiter as seen from the Earth. Io’s shadow is seen on the surface of Jupiter, leading Io slightly due to the sun and Earth not being in the same line.

A simulation of Io transiting Jupiter as seen from the Earth. Io’s shadow is seen on the surface of Jupiter, leading Io slightly due to the sun and Earth not being in the same line.

Future exploration of the outer solar system

Exploration of the giant planets of our solar system over the past few decades has revealed four unique, complex and dynamic worlds. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune have deep fluid interiors, gaseous atmospheres and extended magnetospheres, which serve as natural planetary-scale laboratories for the fundamental physical and chemical processes at work throughout our galaxy.
Shrinking the planetary radii to occupy the same scale allows scientists to compare the planetary ring and satellite systems for the four giant planets.
Their bulk compositions and internal structures provide signatures of the conditions within our solar nebula during the epoch of planet formation. Each harbours a complex system of planetary rings and a diverse collection of satellite environments, some with deep hidden oceans that may be of astrobiological importance. And although our understanding of these systems remains in its infancy, the four giants serve as templates for the interpretation of exoplanetary systems being discovered throughout our galaxy. The scope for new discoveries in this vast region beyond Mars is enormous, and there is no shortage of exciting mission concepts.
View larger version of the image

Credit: Leigh Fletcher

Future exploration of the outer solar system

Exploration of the giant planets of our solar system over the past few decades has revealed four unique, complex and dynamic worlds. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune have deep fluid interiors, gaseous atmospheres and extended magnetospheres, which serve as natural planetary-scale laboratories for the fundamental physical and chemical processes at work throughout our galaxy.

Shrinking the planetary radii to occupy the same scale allows scientists to compare the planetary ring and satellite systems for the four giant planets.

Their bulk compositions and internal structures provide signatures of the conditions within our solar nebula during the epoch of planet formation. Each harbours a complex system of planetary rings and a diverse collection of satellite environments, some with deep hidden oceans that may be of astrobiological importance. And although our understanding of these systems remains in its infancy, the four giants serve as templates for the interpretation of exoplanetary systems being discovered throughout our galaxy. The scope for new discoveries in this vast region beyond Mars is enormous, and there is no shortage of exciting mission concepts.

Credit: Leigh Fletcher

Hear intriguing radio waves that NASA’s Cassini spacecraft collected near Jupiter in January 2001.

Sounds of Jupiter

One approach scientists use to make sense of the data from instruments is to make pictures and graphs to represent the data. This is called “data visualization”. Some types of data, especially radio signals, are very similar in many ways to sound. The power of a radio signal is analogous to the volume of a sound. The radio signal also varies in terms of the frequency and wavelength of the radio waves, which is like the variation in pitch of sound waves. So scientists sometimes translate radio signals into sound to better understand the signals. This approach is called “data sonification”.

On June 27, 1996, the Galileo spacecraft made the first flyby of Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede. The Plasma Wave Experiment (PWS), using an electric dipole antenna, recorded the signature of a magnetosphere at Ganymede. This is the first example of a magnetosphere associated with a moon. The PWS data are represented here as both sounds and a rainbow-colored spectrogram. Approximately 45 minutes of PWS observations are transformed and compressed to 60 seconds. Time increases to the right and frequency (pitch) increases vertically. Color is used to indicate wave intensity, red corresponding to strong waves, blue corresponding to weak waves. The audio track represents the PWS data and is synchronized with the display of the rainbow-colored spectrogram. The pitch of the sound is reduced by a factor of 9 from the measured frequency and follows the location of the signal on the rainbow-colored spectrogram. The entrance into the Ganymede magnetosphere is marked by a strong burst of noise about 6-10 seconds into the recording. As the spacecraft approaches Ganymede, an irregular tone can be heard rising in frequency, reaching a peak and then declining. The pitch of this tone is a measure of the density of charged particles near Ganymede. Both the plasma wave and magnetometer data show that a strong magnetic field exists around Ganymede.

More information on the PWS instrument and other Galileo science instruments is available at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/instruments/.


All of the planets are bathed by a hot plasma called the solar wind which boils off the sun and moves outward at speeds of a million miles per hour. The planets are a little like supersonic aircraft in Earth’s atmosphere. Should a supersonic jet fly over your house, you would hear a sonic boom caused by the jet moving faster than sound waves in the air. Since the solar wind is moving past the planets at supersonic speeds, a similar ‘sonic boom’ is created in the solar wind. The signals in this sound file were acquired as Voyager 1 was approaching the ‘sonic boom’ (or bow shock, as scientists refer to it) of Jupiter. The chirps heard at the beginning of the interval are waves generated by electrons coming from the shock and moving ‘upstream’ into the approaching solar wind. These soon die out and, except for a slight hum from one of the science instruments onboard and the firing of one of Voyager’s thrusters (making a short thud) things become quiet. Then, suddenly, the spacecraft enters the bow shock and is enveloped by the turbulence in this planetary ‘sonic boom’. The bow shock is nature’s way of slowing, deflecting, and heating the solar wind as it runs into an object, in this case the Jovian magnetosphere. In fact, the waves you are hearing are at least partly responsible for heating the solar wind as it is slowed and deflected around the magnetosphere.


These melodious tones are created at a special frequency in a plasma with a magnetic field. The frequency is set by the number of electrons in a given volume (the electron density) and the strength of the magnetic field. Hence, the frequency of these waves, called upper hybrid waves, can provide a very accurate measure of the density of the plasma; a fundamental property of the Jovian environment of interest to scientists. These emissions were acquired by Voyager 2 as it passed through the outer magnetosphere in 1979.


While somewhat difficult to hear, this whistling tone provided Voyager investigators confirmation that there was lightning in Jupiter’s atmosphere. This emission is called a ‘whistler’ because of its whistling sound. These have been studied at Earth for many decades. Whistlers are just one part of the electromagnetic spectrum of a lightning stroke which happens to propagate away from the planet, into the magnetized plasma above. An interesting thing occurs when these waves reach the plasma; the higher frequency waves travel faster along the planets magnetic field than the lower frequencies. So, a satellite detecting these signals some distance from the planet will first pickup the high frequencies, then the low ones from an individual lightning stroke, thereby generating the whistling tone. We know of no other way of producing such a distinct tone, hence, the discovery of whistlers like this one at Jupiter provides strong evidence of lightning there. At about the same time, Voyager’s cameras took time exposures of the dark side of Jupiter and saw regions of light which have been identified as clouds momentarily lit by lightning within them. So, the plasma wave instrument and cameras together provided the first definitive evidence for lightning at a planet other than Earth.

Closeup of Satellites and Shadows Moving Across Jupiter

This animation was created based on the images taken during the event. While Hubble took 20 images during the event, the hundreds of images needed for the animation were created from the original images using the measured rotation of Jupiter and the motions of the satellites and their shadows.


Credit: NASA, ESA, E. Karkoschka (University of Arizona) and L. Barranger

Closeup of Satellites and Shadows Moving Across Jupiter

This animation was created based on the images taken during the event. While Hubble took 20 images during the event, the hundreds of images needed for the animation were created from the original images using the measured rotation of Jupiter and the motions of the satellites and their shadows.

Credit: NASA, ESA, E. Karkoschka (University of Arizona) and L. Barranger

Voyager 1’s closest approach to Jupiter

This movie shows the portion of Jupiter around the Great Red Spot as it swirls through more than 60 Jupiter days. Notice the difference in speed and direction of the various zones of the atmosphere. The interaction of the atmospheric clouds and storm shows the intense dynamics of the Jovian atmosphere.
As Voyager 1 approached Jupiter in 1979, it took images of the planet at regular intervals. This sequence is made from 66 images taken once every Jupiter rotation period (about 10 hours). This time-lapse movie uses images taken every time Jupiter longitude 68W passed under the spacecraft. 

Credit: NASA 

Voyager 1’s closest approach to Jupiter

This movie shows the portion of Jupiter around the Great Red Spot as it swirls through more than 60 Jupiter days. Notice the difference in speed and direction of the various zones of the atmosphere. The interaction of the atmospheric clouds and storm shows the intense dynamics of the Jovian atmosphere.

As Voyager 1 approached Jupiter in 1979, it took images of the planet at regular intervals. This sequence is made from 66 images taken once every Jupiter rotation period (about 10 hours). This time-lapse movie uses images taken every time Jupiter longitude 68W passed under the spacecraft.

Credit: NASA 

Atmospheric Evolution On Jupiter

Current hypotheses of the formation of Jupiter and evolution of its atmosphere invoke large quantities of water. However, no quantitative results on O/H in the deep well-mixed atmosphere are available. Since water was presumably the original carrier of heavy elements to Jupiter, determination of its abundance in the deep atmosphere is of fundamental importance to the models of formation of Jupiter and the origin of its atmosphere. Furthermore, since meteorological and dynamical effects could cause the mixing ratios of water and possibly other volatiles to vary over the planet, it is essential to measure the full atmospheric composition, simultaneously with the related phenomena, such as winds and cloud properties. The best way to accomplish this is by deploying deep multiprobes into different regions of Jupiter, followed by multiprobes into Saturn, Neptune and the Uranus atmospheres for comparison.


Composition, Clouds, and Origin of Jupiter’s Atmosphere- A Case for Multiprobes.pdf

Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona, Sushil K. Atreya

Atmospheric Evolution On Jupiter

Current hypotheses of the formation of Jupiter and evolution of its atmosphere invoke large quantities of water. However, no quantitative results on O/H in the deep well-mixed atmosphere are available. Since water was presumably the original carrier of heavy elements to Jupiter, determination of its abundance in the deep atmosphere is of fundamental importance to the models of formation of Jupiter and the origin of its atmosphere. Furthermore, since meteorological and dynamical effects could cause the mixing ratios of water and possibly other volatiles to vary over the planet, it is essential to measure the full atmospheric composition, simultaneously with the related phenomena, such as winds and cloud properties. The best way to accomplish this is by deploying deep multiprobes into different regions of Jupiter, followed by multiprobes into Saturn, Neptune and the Uranus atmospheres for comparison.
Composition, Clouds, and Origin of Jupiter’s Atmosphere- A Case for Multiprobes.pdf

Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona, Sushil K. Atreya

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Returns 1st Flyby images of Earth while Sailing On to Jupiter

Following the speed boosting slingshot of Earth on Wednesday, Oct. 9, that sent NASA’s Juno orbiter hurtling towards Jupiter, the probe has successfully transmitted back data and the very first flyby images despite unexpectedly going into ‘safe mode’ during the critical maneuver. Juno performed a crucial swingby of Earth that accelerated the probe by 16330 MPH to enable it to arrive in orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016.

However the gravity assist maneuver did not go entirely as planned.The safe mode was triggered while Juno was in an eclipse mode, the only eclipse it will experience during its entire mission.The Earth flyby did accomplish its objective by placing the $1.1 Billion Juno spacecraft exactly on course for Jupiter as intended.

The new images of Earth captured by the Junocam imager serves as tangible proof that Juno is communicating. Many more images were snapped and should be transmitted in coming days that eventually will show a beautiful view of the Earth and Moon from space.

Full Article

Credit: Ken Kremer

Diamonds Stud the Atmospheres of Saturn and Jupiter

It sounds like science fiction, but as much as 10 million tons of diamonds may be stored in Saturn and Jupiter, researchers announced this week.

Observational evidence of storms on Saturn that actively generate carbon particles, combined with new laboratory experiments and models that show how carbon behaves under extreme conditions, have led a pair of scientists to posit that both planets may offer stable environments for the formation of diamonds.

Earlier theories included only Uranus and Neptune as suspected diamond producers. Scientists suggested that intense temperature and pressure on those planets may be able to convert atmospheric methane gas directly into diamonds, which rain down into their interiors.

Dark stormy regions seen on infrared images are thought to correspond to the breakup of methane molecules into carbon, most probably soot particles.

Once formed, the new theory states, noncrystalline carbon sinks down through the atmosphere until it reaches an altitude of similar density and is converted to graphite under the increasing pressure. The graphite continues its descent into the deeper depths of Saturn’s atmosphere until pressure and temperature builds and converts the material into solid diamonds.

Full Article

Credit: Andrew Fazekas

ESA and NASA stumped by cosmic mystery

A mystery that has stumped scientists for decades might be one step closer to solution after ESA tracking stations carefully record signals from NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it swings by Earth today. 

NASA’s deep-space probe will zip past to within 561 km at 19:21 GMT as it picks up a gravitational speed boost to help it reach Jupiter in 2016.

During the high-speed event, radio signals from the 3225 kg Juno will be carefully recorded by ESA tracking stations in Argentina and Australia.

Engineers hope that the new measurements will unravel the decades-old ‘flyby anomaly’ – an unexplained variation in spacecraft speeds detected during some swingbys.

On 9 October, engineers and the flight dynamics teams at ESOC will watch closely as the Agency’s new 35 m-diameter deep-space dish in Malargüe, Argentina, and a smaller 15 m dish in Perth, Australia, track Juno starting at about 16:00 GMT.

The stations will record highly precise radio-signal information that will indicate whether Juno speeds up or slows down more or less than predicted by current theories.

The results will be studied closely by ESA and NASA as well as scientists worldwide, who are hoping to see whether the anomaly is again detected.

Full Article

Credit: ESA/S. Marti

Pioneer 11’s Jupiter

This is the first image of the polar region of Jupiter showing changing cloud patterns between the equator and the poles.
The planet Jupiter as seen from above its north pole by Pioneer-Saturn (Pioneer 11) at a latitude of about 50 degrees above the equator. The pole itself is roughly on the line of the terminator (boundary between jovian day and night) across the top of the planet.
It is not possible to see into the night hemisphere of Jupiter because it is not luminated. This view of the giant planet has never been seen before, because from the Earth we always see a “full Jupiter” that is the full hemisphere illuminated by the sun. The darkened portion of the planet and the north pole are both at the top of the picture. Holding the picture so that the terminator is at the top, the north pole is at the top also. The blue to greyish areas may be “blue sky”, similar to that of the Earth. This is caused by “raleigh scattering” of sunlight by the planet’s atmosphere, or from a malfunction of the gain mechanism on the electronic camera.


Credit: NASA

Pioneer 11’s Jupiter

This is the first image of the polar region of Jupiter showing changing cloud patterns between the equator and the poles.

The planet Jupiter as seen from above its north pole by Pioneer-Saturn (Pioneer 11) at a latitude of about 50 degrees above the equator. The pole itself is roughly on the line of the terminator (boundary between jovian day and night) across the top of the planet.

It is not possible to see into the night hemisphere of Jupiter because it is not luminated. This view of the giant planet has never been seen before, because from the Earth we always see a “full Jupiter” that is the full hemisphere illuminated by the sun. The darkened portion of the planet and the north pole are both at the top of the picture. Holding the picture so that the terminator is at the top, the north pole is at the top also. The blue to greyish areas may be “blue sky”, similar to that of the Earth. This is caused by “raleigh scattering” of sunlight by the planet’s atmosphere, or from a malfunction of the gain mechanism on the electronic camera.

Credit: NASA


Electrodynamic interactions in the Jovian system


Electrodynamic interactions play a variety of roles in the Jovian system: generation of plasma at the Io torus, magnetosphere / satellite interactions, dynamics of a giant plasma disc coupled to Jupiter’s rotation by the auroral current system, generation of Jupiter’s intense radiation belts.
The exploration of the Jovian System and its fascinating satellite Europa is one of the priorities presented in ESA’s “Cosmic Vision” strategic document. The Jovian System indeed displays many facets. It is a small planetary system in its own right, built-up out of the mixture of gas and icy material that was present in the external region of the solar nebula. Through a complex history of accretion, internal differentiation and dynamic interaction, a very unique satellite system formed, in which three of the four Galilean satellites are locked in the so-called Laplace resonance.
The energy and angular momentum they exchange among themselves and with Jupiter contribute to various degrees to the internal heating sources of the satellites. Unique among these satellites, Europa is believed to shelter an ocean between its geodynamically active icy crust and its silicate mantle, one where the main conditions for habitability may be fulfilled. For this very reason, Europa is one of the best candidates for the search for life in our Solar System. So, is Europa really habitable, representing a “habitable zone” in the Jupiter system? To answer this specific question, we need a dedicated mission to Europa. But to understand in a more generic way the habitability conditions around giant planets, we need to go beyond Europa itself and address two more general questions at the scale of the Jupiter system: to what extent is its possible habitability related to the initial conditions and formation scenario of the Jovian satellites? To what extent is it due to the way the Jupiter system works? ESA’s Cosmic Vision programme offers an ideal and timely framework to address these three key questions.
Building on the in-depth reconnaissance of the Jupiter System by Galileo (and the Voyager, Ulysses, Cassini and New Horizons fly-by’s) and on the anticipated accomplishments of NASA’s JUNO mission, it is now time to design and fly a new mission which will focus on these three major questions. LAPLACE, as we propose to call it, will deploy in the Jovian system a triad of orbiting platforms to perform coordinated observations of its main components: Europa, our priority target, the Jovian satellites, Jupiter’s magnetosphere and its atmosphere and interior. LAPLACE will consolidate Europe’s role and visibility in the exploration of the Solar System and will foster the development of technologies for the exploration of deep space in Europe. Its multi-platform and multi-target architecture, combined with its broadly multidisciplinary scientific dimension, will provide an outstanding opportunity to build a broad international collaboration with all interested nations and space agencies.
LAPLACE: A mission to Europa and the Jupiter System for ESA’s Cosmic Vision Programme (.pdf)

Credit: MPS/ESA/NASA

Electrodynamic interactions play a variety of roles in the Jovian system: generation of plasma at the Io torus, magnetosphere / satellite interactions, dynamics of a giant plasma disc coupled to Jupiter’s rotation by the auroral current system, generation of Jupiter’s intense radiation belts.

The exploration of the Jovian System and its fascinating satellite Europa is one of the priorities presented in ESA’s “Cosmic Vision” strategic document. The Jovian System indeed displays many facets. It is a small planetary system in its own right, built-up out of the mixture of gas and icy material that was present in the external region of the solar nebula. Through a complex history of accretion, internal differentiation and dynamic interaction, a very unique satellite system formed, in which three of the four Galilean satellites are locked in the so-called Laplace resonance.

The energy and angular momentum they exchange among themselves and with Jupiter contribute to various degrees to the internal heating sources of the satellites. Unique among these satellites, Europa is believed to shelter an ocean between its geodynamically active icy crust and its silicate mantle, one where the main conditions for habitability may be fulfilled. For this very reason, Europa is one of the best candidates for the search for life in our Solar System. So, is Europa really habitable, representing a “habitable zone” in the Jupiter system? To answer this specific question, we need a dedicated mission to Europa. But to understand in a more generic way the habitability conditions around giant planets, we need to go beyond Europa itself and address two more general questions at the scale of the Jupiter system: to what extent is its possible habitability related to the initial conditions and formation scenario of the Jovian satellites? To what extent is it due to the way the Jupiter system works? ESA’s Cosmic Vision programme offers an ideal and timely framework to address these three key questions.

Building on the in-depth reconnaissance of the Jupiter System by Galileo (and the Voyager, Ulysses, Cassini and New Horizons fly-by’s) and on the anticipated accomplishments of NASA’s JUNO mission, it is now time to design and fly a new mission which will focus on these three major questions. LAPLACE, as we propose to call it, will deploy in the Jovian system a triad of orbiting platforms to perform coordinated observations of its main components: Europa, our priority target, the Jovian satellites, Jupiter’s magnetosphere and its atmosphere and interior. LAPLACE will consolidate Europe’s role and visibility in the exploration of the Solar System and will foster the development of technologies for the exploration of deep space in Europe. Its multi-platform and multi-target architecture, combined with its broadly multidisciplinary scientific dimension, will provide an outstanding opportunity to build a broad international collaboration with all interested nations and space agencies.

LAPLACE: A mission to Europa and the Jupiter System for ESA’s Cosmic Vision Programme (.pdf)

Credit: MPS/ESA/NASA

Unlocking Jupiter’s Secrets  

Juno will improve our understanding of the solar system’s beginnings by revealing the origin and evolution of Jupiter. Specifically, Juno will…

Determine how much water is in Jupiter’s atmosphere, which helps determine which planet formation theory is correct (or if new theories are needed)
Look deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere to measure composition, temperature, cloud motions and other properties
Map Jupiter’s magnetic and gravity fields, revealing the planet’s deep structure
Explore and study Jupiter’s magnetosphere near the planet’s poles, especially the auroras – Jupiter’s northern and southern lights – providing new insights about how the planet’s enormous magnetic force field affects its atmosphere.

Official website→

Unlocking Jupiter’s Secrets

Juno will improve our understanding of the solar system’s beginnings by revealing the origin and evolution of Jupiter.

Specifically, Juno will…

  • Determine how much water is in Jupiter’s atmosphere, which helps determine which planet formation theory is correct (or if new theories are needed)
  • Look deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere to measure composition, temperature, cloud motions and other properties
  • Map Jupiter’s magnetic and gravity fields, revealing the planet’s deep structure
  • Explore and study Jupiter’s magnetosphere near the planet’s poles, especially the auroras – Jupiter’s northern and southern lights – providing new insights about how the planet’s enormous magnetic force field affects its atmosphere.

Official website