Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nasa future mission Juno

Juno’s principal goal is to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. Underneath its dense cloud cover, Jupiter safeguards secrets to the fundamental processes and conditions that governed our solar system during its formation. As our primary example of a giant planet, Jupiter can also provide critical knowledge for understanding the planetary systems being discovered around other stars.

With its suite of science instruments, Juno will investigate the existence of a solid planetary core, map Jupiter's intense magnetic field, measure the amount of water and ammonia in the deep atmosphere, and observe the planet's auroras.

Juno will let us take a giant step forward in our understanding of how giant planets form and the role these titans played in putting together the rest of the solar system.

Key things to know about Juno
o Spacecraft launches in August 2011
o Five-year cruise to Jupiter, arriving July 2016
o One year at Jupiter will complete the mission (orbiting the planet 32 times)
Juno will improve our understanding of our solar system’s beginnings by revealing the origin and evolution of Jupiter.

Specifically, Juno will…
o Determine how much water is in Jupiter’s atmosphere, which helps determine which planet formation theory is correct (or if new theories are needed)
o Look deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere to measure composition, temperature, cloud motions and other properties
o Map Jupiter’s magnetic and gravity fields, revealing the planet’s deep structure
o 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.

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