NASA’s Juno spacecraft passed close to Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede, on Monday night, capturing images, two of which have now been released by the space agency. NASA last approached Ganymede in 2000.
Images captured by the JunoCam telescope show the moon’s icy crust in high detail They show. The surface of the ganymede is filled with special openings and grooves that in some places reach a height of 700 meters and is probably affected by tectonic or “tectonic” movements.
The other image of Ganymede was taken by the Stellar Reference Unit’s stellar camera and shows a closer view of the moon’s surface. The image below is actually of the “dark half” of Ganymede (the half on the opposite side of the sun), but the reflection of light from Jupiter itself reveals parts of its surface and can be seen in the image.
“This is the closest distance that spacecraft have made to this giant moon over the last generation,” said Scott Bolton, a senior researcher on the Juno spacecraft. “We need more time before any scientific conclusions, but until then we can at least be immersed in this stunning view.”
“The conditions in which the semi-dark image of Ganymede was recorded were ideal for our dim camera,” said Heidi Becker, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Radiation Observation Team. “This part of the Ganymede surface is different from the part recorded by JunoCam in direct sunlight.”
With the help of Juno information, NASA can investigate the composition, composition of the ionosphere, magnetosphere and ganimide icy crust. The spacecraft will also gather information on ambient radiation levels to prepare for possible future missions to Jupiter and its moons.
Ganymede is one of Jupiter’s 79 moons and the only solar system moon with a magnetic field. In 1996, the Hubble Space Telescope found evidence of a thin layer of oxygen on the moon, but NASA says it is too thin to support life on Ganimide.