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NASA's Juno Spacecraft Enters Jupiter's Magnetic Field

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:24 pm

NASA's Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft has entered the planet's magnetosphere, where the movement of particles in space is controlled by what's going on inside Jupiter.

"We've just crossed the boundary into Jupiter's home turf," said Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton of Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio. "We're closing in fast on the planet itself and already gaining valuable data."

Juno is on course to swing into orbit around Jupiter on July 4. Science instruments on board detected changes in the particles and fields around the spacecraft as it passed from an environment dominated by the interplanetary solar wind into Jupiter's magnetosphere. Data from Juno's Waves investigation, presented as audio stream and color animation, indicate the spacecraft's crossing of the bow shock just outside the magnetosphere on June 24 and the transit into the lower density of the Jovian magnetosphere on June 25.

"The bow shock is analogous to a sonic boom," said William Kurth of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, lead co-investigator for the Waves investigation. "The solar wind blows past all the planets at a speed of about a million miles per hour, and where it hits an obstacle, there's all this turbulence."

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:31 pm

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Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

NASA's Juno spacecraft obtained this color view on June 28, 2016, at a distance of 3.9 million miles (6.2 million kilometers) from Jupiter.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:34 pm



June 25, 2016, the Waves instrument witnessed the crossing of the magnetopause. "Trapped continuum radiation" refers to waves trapped in a low-density cavity in Jupiter's magnetosphere.

 

 
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