Europe's Juice Satellite all set to explore Jupiter's icy moons | Tech News

Europe's Juice Satellite all set to explore Jupiter's icy moons

The European Space Agency (ESA) has informed that the Juice satellite has just completed its final tests and is all set to explore Jupiter's icy moons.

| Updated on: Jan 21 2023, 09:27 IST
NASA reveals stunning Jupiter images captured by James Webb Space Telescope
1/6 Amazingly, currently, on Jupiter, there are auroras, storms, extreme temperatures and powerful winds stirring things up, according to NASA. The images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope could give scientists a look at the conditions of the gas giant. (NASA)
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2/6 Planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, professor emerita of the University of California, Berkeley said, “We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest. It’s really remarkable that we can see details on Jupiter together with its rings, tiny satellites, and even galaxies in one image.” (NASA)
3/6 The images were captured by the telescope's Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument on July 27, which highlighted the planet's unique features. According to NASA, the NIRCam has three specialized infrared filters that showcase details of the planet. (AFP)
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4/6 The image was created by compositing several images. Auroras are visible near the Northern and Southern poles of the planet. According to NASA, the auroras shine in a filter that is mapped to redder colors, which also highlights light reflected from lower clouds and upper hazes. (NASA)
5/6 The Great Red Spot as well as other clouds can be visible in the images as white since it is reflecting the sunlight. The Great Red Spot is a giant vortex which has been swirling around on Jupiter’s surface for a long time. Jupiter’s 2 moons, Amalthea and Adrastea can also be seen “photo-bombing” the planet. (REUTERS)
6/6 Thierry Fouchet, a professor at the Paris Observatory, as part of an international collaboration for Webb’s Early Release Science program said, “This one image sums up the science of our Jupiter system program, which studies the dynamics and chemistry of Jupiter itself, its rings, and its satellite system.” (NASA/AFP)
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Here is all you need to know about the Juice Satellite. (ESA)

Europe's mission to Jupiter's Moon is all set for its launch in April 2023. The Juice satellite has just completed its final tests. Informing about the same, the European Space Agency (ESA) tweeted, "The countdown to #Juice is on! A commemorative plaque celebrating Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's moons has been unveiled on @ESA_JUICE. Juice has just completed its final tests before saying a final goodbye to Europe before its launch in April."

The spacecraft completed its final tests on Friday, January 20, 2023, before departing Toulouse, France, for Europe's Spaceport to count down to an April launch. Juice will make detailed observations of Jupiter and its three large ocean-bearing moons – Ganymede, Callisto and Europa – with a suite of instruments. The mission will characterise these moons as both planetary objects and possible habitats, explore Jupiter's complex environment in depth, and study the wider Jupiter system as an archetype for gas giants across the Universe.

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As part of the final preparations a commemorative plaque was mounted on the spacecraft as a tribute to Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei who was the first to view Jupiter and its four largest moons through a telescope in January 1610, ESA stated in a report. His observation that the moons changed position from night to night overturned the long-held idea that everything in the heavens revolved around Earth. The moons – Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto – were to become collectively known as the Galilean satellites in his honour.

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“Unveiling the plaque is a beautiful moment in this intense chapter preparing the spacecraft for launch,” says Giuseppe Sarri, ESA's Juice project manager. Notably, three of Jupiter's largest moons – Europa, Ganymede and Callisto – hold vast quantities of water buried under their surfaces in volumes far greater than in Earth's oceans. These planet-sized moons offer tantalising hints that conditions for life could exist other than here.

Following launch, Juice will fly an eight-year course through the Solar System, its path punctuated with gravity assists of Earth and Venus to slingshot it out to Jupiter. Depending on the exact day it launches – and so depending on the geometry of the Solar System on that day – Juice could perform the first-ever lunar-Earth gravity assist. This would see the mission perform a flyby of the Moon and just a day later a flyby of Earth, according to ESA.

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First Published Date: 21 Jan, 09:27 IST