Juno

Science at Jupiter

Juno has unique capabilities to peer beneath Jupiter’s clouds, using microwave observations, and sensing of the gravitational and magnetic field from close proximity.  It uses these capabilities to address three main science objectives:

  1. Study the interior structure of the planet using information obtained from the effect of the planet’s gravitational pull on the spacecraft motion, and from measurements of the magnetic field generated by dynamo action in the deep interior.
  2. Study the properties of the atmosphere to depths well below the visible cloud-tops using microwave emissions that are able to penetrate these layers, in particular measuring the amount of oxygen (from water) in the otherwise hydrogen-dominated atmosphere, which will provide means to discriminate theoretical ideas on the formation of the planet.
  3. Study the origins of Jupiter’s dynamic polar auroras, formed by the coupling between the planet’s upper atmosphere and the extended plasma medium beyond, which are by far the brightest emissions of all the planets within the solar system.

You can find out more about what scientists hoped to learn from the Juno mission via our blog.

 

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