Juno captures moon shadow on Jupiter
by Staff Writers
San Antonio TX (SPX) May 01, 2022
NASA's Juno spacecraft captured this view of Jupiter during the mission's 40th close pass by the giant planet on Feb. 25, 2022. The large, dark shadow on the left side of the image was cast by Jupiter's moon Ganymede.
Citizen scientist Thomas Thomopoulos created this enhanced-color image using raw data from the JunoCam instrument (Figure A). At the time the raw image was taken, the Juno spacecraft was about 44,000 miles (71,000 kilometers) above Jupiter's cloud tops, at a latitude of about 55 degrees south, and 15 times closer than Ganymede, which orbits about 666,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) away from Jupiter.
An observer at Jupiter's cloud tops within the oval shadow would experience a total eclipse of the Sun. Total eclipses are more common on Jupiter than Earth for several reasons. Jupiter has four major moons (Galilean satellites) that often pass between Jupiter and the Sun: in seven days, Ganymede transits once; Europa, twice; and Io, four times. And since Jupiter's moons orbit in a plane close to Jupiter's orbital plane, the moon shadows are often cast upon the planet.
JunoCam captured this image from very close to Jupiter, making Ganymede's shadow appear especially large. Figure B, created by citizen scientist Brian Swift using JunoCam data, illustrates the approximate geometry of the visible area, projected onto a globe of Jupiter.
+ JunoCam's raw images are available for the public to peruse and process into image products here
+ More information about NASA citizen science can be found here
Greenland Ice, Jupiter Moon Share Similar Feature
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 26, 2022
Parallel ice ridges, a common feature on Jupiter's moon Europa, are found on Greenland's ice sheet - and could bode well for Europa's potential habitability. Parallel ice ridges in Greenland bear a striking resemblance to ridges on Jupiter's ice-encased moon Europa, suggesting the moon's icy shell could be riddled with pockets of water. This similarity could greatly improve the odds of NASA's Europa Clipper mission detecting potentially habitable environments on the Jovian moon. The spacecra ... read more
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