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A probe flies over the largest moon in the solar system

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Jillian Castillo
Jillian Castillo
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Monday, June 7, 2021 8:05 p.m. – NASA’s Juno probe is currently flying above the largest moon in the solar system: Ganymede. The Jovian satellite has not been visited in twenty years. Scientists expect some nice surprises.

First meeting in 20 years

On June 7, the Juno probe approached 1,000 kilometers or less from the surface of Ganymede, one of Jupiter’s many satellites. It is the largest moon in the solar system. Ganymede is larger than the planet Mercury. Only this moon has a magnetosphere, a layer containing charged particles around the celestial body. NASA’s probe will approach Jupiter’s moon for the first time in nearly 20 years.

frozen moon

Instruments aboard the probe will allow scientists to learn more, particularly about the ice covering the Jovian satellite. This ice crust contains dark areas and some light areas. Researchers’ analyzes will eventually be able to determine its composition and structure.

amazing pictures

JunoCam will send snapshots with an increasing level of detail that researchers will compare to images taken by the Voyager and Galileo probes, some of which date back four decades. Observing these images will allow scientists to see the changes Ganymede’s surface has undergone over the past 40 years.

See also: Two missions to Venus

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