Incoming! We’ve Got Science from Jupiter!

Our Juno spacecraft has just released some exciting new science from its first close flyby of Jupiter! 

In case you don’t know, the Juno spacecraft entered orbit around the gas giant on July 4, 2016…about a year ago. Since then, it has been collecting data and images from this unique vantage point.

Juno is in a polar orbit around Jupiter, which means that the majority of each orbit is spent well away from the gas giant. But once every 53 days its trajectory approaches Jupiter from above its north pole, where it begins a close two-hour transit flying north to south with its eight science instruments collecting data and its JunoCam camera snapping pictures.

Space Fact: The download of six megabytes of data collected during the two-hour transit can take one-and-a-half days!

Juno and her cloud-piercing science instruments are helping us get a better understanding of the processes happening on Jupiter. These new results portray the planet as a complex, gigantic, turbulent world that we still need to study and unravel its mysteries.

So what did this first science flyby tell us? Let’s break it down…

1. Tumultuous Cyclones

Juno’s imager, JunoCam, has showed us that both of Jupiter’s poles are covered in tumultuous cyclones and anticyclone storms, densely clustered and rubbing together. Some of these storms as large as Earth!

These storms are still puzzling. We’re still not exactly sure how they formed or how they interact with each other. Future close flybys will help us better understand these mysterious cyclones. 

Seen above, waves of clouds (at 37.8 degrees latitude) dominate this three-dimensional Jovian cloudscape. JunoCam obtained this enhanced-color picture on May 19, 2017, at 5:50 UTC from an altitude of 5,500 miles (8,900 kilometers). Details as small as 4 miles (6 kilometers) across can be identified in this image.

An even closer view of the same image shows small bright high clouds that are about 16 miles (25 kilometers) across and in some areas appear to form “squall lines” (a narrow band of high winds and storms associated with a cold front). On Jupiter, clouds this high are almost certainly comprised of water and/or ammonia ice.

2. Jupiter’s Atmosphere

Juno’s Microwave Radiometer is an instrument that samples the thermal microwave radiation from Jupiter’s atmosphere from the tops of the ammonia clouds to deep within its atmosphere.

Data from this instrument suggest that the ammonia is quite variable and continues to increase as far down as we can see with MWR, which is a few hundred kilometers. In the cut-out image below, orange signifies high ammonia abundance and blue signifies low ammonia abundance. Jupiter appears to have a band around its equator high in ammonia abundance, with a column shown in orange.

Why does this ammonia matter? Well, ammonia is a good tracer of other relatively rare gases and fluids in the atmosphere…like water. Understanding the relative abundances of these materials helps us have a better idea of how and when Jupiter formed in the early solar system.

This instrument has also given us more information about Jupiter’s iconic belts and zones. Data suggest that the belt near Jupiter’s equator penetrates all the way down, while the belts and zones at other latitudes seem to evolve to other structures.

3. Stronger-Than-Expected Magnetic Field

Prior to Juno, it was known that Jupiter had the most intense magnetic field in the solar system…but measurements from Juno’s magnetometer investigation (MAG) indicate that the gas giant’s magnetic field is even stronger than models expected, and more irregular in shape.

At 7.766 Gauss, it is about 10 times stronger than the strongest magnetic field found on Earth! What is Gauss? Magnetic field strengths are measured in units called Gauss or Teslas. A magnetic field with a strength of 10,000 Gauss also has a strength of 1 Tesla.  

Juno is giving us a unique view of the magnetic field close to Jupiter that we’ve never had before. For example, data from the spacecraft (displayed in the graphic above) suggests that the planet’s magnetic field is “lumpy”, meaning its stronger in some places and weaker in others. This uneven distribution suggests that the field might be generated by dynamo action (where the motion of electrically conducting fluid creates a self-sustaining magnetic field) closer to the surface, above the layer of metallic hydrogen. Juno’s orbital track is illustrated with the black curve. 

4. Sounds of Jupiter

Juno also observed plasma wave signals from Jupiter’s ionosphere. This movie shows results from Juno’s radio wave detector that were recorded while it passed close to Jupiter. Waves in the plasma (the charged gas) in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter have different frequencies that depend on the types of ions present, and their densities. 

Mapping out these ions in the jovian system helps us understand how the upper atmosphere works including the aurora. Beyond the visual representation of the data, the data have been made into sounds where the frequencies
and playback speed have been shifted to be audible to human ears.

5. Jovian “Southern Lights”

The complexity and richness of Jupiter’s “southern lights” (also known as auroras) are on display in this animation of false-color maps from our Juno spacecraft. Auroras result when energetic electrons from the magnetosphere crash into the molecular hydrogen in the Jovian upper atmosphere. The data for this animation were obtained by Juno’s Ultraviolet Spectrograph. 

During Juno’s next flyby on July 11, the spacecraft will fly directly over one of the most iconic features in the entire solar system – one that every school kid knows – Jupiter’s Great Red Spot! If anybody is going to get to the bottom of what is going on below those mammoth swirling crimson cloud tops, it’s Juno.

Stay updated on all things Juno and Jupiter by following along on social media:
Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Tumblr

Learn more about the Juno spacecraft and its mission at Jupiter HERE.

Let Us See Jupiter Through Your Eyes

Our Juno spacecraft will fly over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot on July 10 at 10:06 p.m. EDT. This will be humanity’s first up-close and personal view of the gas giant’s iconic 10,000-mile-wide storm, which has been monitored since 1830 and possibly existing for more than 350 years.

The data collection of the Great Red Spot is part of Juno’s sixth science flyby over Jupiter’s mysterious cloud tops. Perijove (the point at which an orbit comes closest to Jupiter’s center) will be July 10 at 9:55 p.m. EDT. 

At the time of perijove, Juno will be about 2,200 miles above the planet’s cloud tops. Eleven minutes and 33 seconds later…Juno will have covered another 24,713 miles and will be directly above the coiling crimson cloud tops of the Great Red Spot. The spacecraft will pass about 5,600 miles above its clouds. 

When will we see images from this flyby?

During the flyby, all eight of the spacecraft’s instruments will be turned on, as well as its imager, JunoCam. Because the spacecraft will be collecting data with its Microwave Radiometer (MWR), which measures radio waves from Jupiter’s deep atmosphere, we cannot downlink information during the pass. The MWR can tell us how much water there is and how material is moving far below the cloud tops.

During the pass, all data will be stored on-board…with a downlink planned afterwards. Once the downlink begins, engineering data from the spacecraft’s instruments will come to Earth first, followed by images from JunoCam.

The unprocessed, raw images will be located HERE, on approximately July 14. Follow @NASAJuno on Twitter for updates.

Did you know you can download and process these raw images?

We invite the public to act as a virtual imaging team…participating in key steps of the process, from identifying features of interest to sharing the finished images online. After JunoCam data arrives on Earth, members of the public can process the images to create color pictures. The public also helps determine which points on the planet will be photographed. Learn more about voting on JunoCam’s next target HERE.

JunoCam has four filters: red, green, blue and near-infrared. We get red, green and blue strips on one spacecraft rotation (the spacecraft rotation rate is 2 revolutions per minute) and the near-infrared strips on the second rotation. To get the final image product, the strips must be stitched together and the colors lined up.

Anything from cropping to color enhancing to collaging is fair game. Be creative!

Submit your images to Juno_outreach@jpl.nasa.gov to be featured on the Mission Juno website!

Check out some of these citizen-scientist processed images from previous Juno orbits: 

Credit: Sean Doran (More)

Credit: Amelia Carolina (More)

Credit: Michael Ranger (More)

Credit: Jason Major (More)

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

NASA’s Juno spacecraft just flew the closest any human-built object has come to the biggest storm in our solar system. On July 10, the spacecraft flew just 5,600 miles above Jupiter’s most recognizable feature: the Great Red Spot. It’s a storm that’s raged for 350 years, and it’s so large it could swallow Earth whole!


(📷Credit: NASA, SwRI, MSSS; Color processing by Gerald Eichstadt)

Swirling bands of light and dark clouds on Jupiter are seen in this image made by citizen scientists using data from our Juno spacecraft. Each of the alternating light and dark atmospheric bands in this image is wider than Earth, and each rages around Jupiter at hundreds of miles (km) per hour. The lighter areas are regions where gas is rising, and the darker bands are regions where gas is sinking. This image was acquired on May 19, 2017 from about 20,800 miles (33,400km) above Jupiter’s cloud tops.

Learn more

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt /Seán Doran

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

Juno - your soulmate protector

This is what you expect from your soulmate, whether romantic or platonic.
 
(Remember that soulmate  is not necessarily a romantic partner. Juno MOST of the time is about your romantic partnerships but it can refer to your other platonic relationships with people like friends or family members)

Juno in Aries / 1st House - your partner is someone who is confident and strong. This is someone with a sensitive side in them, who likes to tease and is very honest about their feelings. Affectionate, helpful and protective. Someone who will fight for you and will be your partner in crime. Someone who can be clingy. Someone with a little bit gullible, innocent aura about them. Someone with reputation (whether good or bad). Heroic, badass types.  

Juno in Taurus / 2nd House  - your partner is someone who is sensual and protective. Someone who is affectionate and generous. Someone good looking (according to your own beauty standards) with warm aura about them. Someone who can provide and is loyal and stable. Partner is generous but they are not lavish. Someone who is jealous,  likes physical affection but also can keep a conversation going. Someone strong and stable. 

Juno in Gemini / 3rd House - your partner is someone who can understand you. Someone who is caring and can help you to open up and express yourself better. Partner who “gets you” and understand that your moodiness is not something bad and annoying. Person who enjoys learning new things and sharing them with you. A mood maker. Someone who likes fun and is entertaining. Someone who is witty and smart and also possess high emotional intelligence. Your partner is loyal, can be clingy and is secretly sensitive.

Juno in Cancer / 4th House  - your partner is someone who is a go-getter. Someone caring, very loyal and sensitive. Someone who will show especially with their action that they care about you. The partner is creative, lavish, sweet and understanding. Has motherly qualities. This is someone who wants to build a nest with you and settle. Someone who is jealous and sometimes overly dramatic. Someone really strong, both mentally and emotionally.

Juno in Leo / 5th House  - your partner is someone who is breathing and living embodiment of a Hollywood movie character. Someone who is proud and loves to show how much they love you. Someone who is consistent and in need for attention from you. Entertaining and talkative, wants spotlight but knows how and when to share it with you. Very romantic (sometimes even cheesy). Partner with a soft side. Playful. Someone who is young at heart but is also wise, brave and very protective of you. Someone who cares about how they appear to the world. Stylish, Hollywood god. 

Juno in Virgo / 6th House  - your partner is someone who just “knows”. This person knows how to act in the public. They know how to act with your friends and parents. They know what kind of person they need to be when the situation calls for this. The person is smart and insightful. Gracious and elegant. Someone who has a lot of hidden passion and is very creative. This person show their love mostly with those little gestures. The partner is loving but not in the overwhelming way.

Juno in Libra / 7th House  - someone who is strong and intuitive. Someone who is sociable and knows how to act in the company of people. Helpful and kind. Someone who is not judgmental and always is looking at two side of the situation. Confident, charming personality. Trustworthy person. Your partner is someone who value honesty, loyalty and stability. Someone who is stylish and beautiful (according to your own beauty standards).

Juno in Scorpio / 8th House  - your partner is someone who is intense. This person may appear mysterious and broody. Someone magnetic with a lot of passion who helps you to bring out passion from yourself too. Someone who has adventorous spirit, loves mysteries and is good at solving problems. Someone intelligent and diplomatic. Generous person with a big heart. Someone who value true intimacy. Some astrologers believe that having Scorpio Juno signifies having a past life karmic bond with your partner.

Juno in Sagittarius / 9th House  - your partner is someone with a strong spirit and need for diversity. Partner love travelling, studying and having people from all kind of backgrounds. They may have totally different background than you, they can be from another culture or country. Partner is someone honest, fiery and independent. Indiana Jones type. Someone who is not “smothering”. Someone who always will care about keeping things interesting, fresh and positive. 

Juno in Capricorn / 10th House  -  your partner is someone independent, bold and classy. Someone who value practicality and is patient. Your partner is persistent, logical but have very emotional and soft side inside of them. Your partner is someone who may be a little bit awkward with showing their feelings. They need to be told it is okay to do that. This is someone who has a lot of passion. Trust and intimacy are very important with this person.

Juno in Aquarius / 11th House  - your partner is someone with a hidden emotional side. This is someone who prefers to act in the logical manner. Someone hard-working, precise but very passionate and loving on the inside. Someone who has unique opinion and ideas. Similar to Sagittarius this is someone who can have a completely different background than you and can befriend anyone. Strong, independent mind with lot of acquaintance but a few real friends.

Juno in Pisces / 12th House  - your partner is a unique person. This is someone with a contrast personality. Romantic but logical. Passionate but can be detached. Thoughtful but impulsive. This is someone who always try to see the best in people and help others. Someone sassy, smart and kind. This is someone who can take you to another world but can destroy what they created in the blink of an eye if you do them wrong. Artistic, strong soul. Some astrologers believe that this placement similar to Scorpio also indicates past life karmic bond. 

Juno in the retrograde - when Juno is in the retrograde this person’s desire to have a soulmate may be hidden (they may not believe they exist at all). They may be not showing their interest in having someone, at least not outwardly, they may despise the idea of marriage. They may need a time to realise that they want from their partner and what kind of partner they want. 

Solar System: Things to Know This Week

Jupiter, we’ve got quite the photoshoot planned for you. Today, our Juno spacecraft is flying directly over the Great Red Spot, kicking off the first-ever close-up study of this iconic storm and passing by at an altitude of only 5,600 miles (9,000 kilometers). In honor of this historic event, below are 10 things to know about the planet’s most famous feature.

1. A Storm That Puts Others to Shame

The Great Red Spot is a gigantic, high-pressure, ancient storm at Jupiter’s southern hemisphere that’s one of the longest lasting in the solar system. It’s so large, about 1.3 Earths could fit inside of it. And you can bet you’ll get swept away—the storm’s tumultuous winds peak at about 400 mph.

2. How Old Is It? 

The Great Red Spot has been swirling wildly over Jupiter’s skies for the past 150 years—maybe even much longer. While people saw a big spot on Jupiter when they started stargazing through telescopes in the 1600s, it’s still unclear whether they were looking at a different storm. Today, scientists know the Great Red Spot has been there for a while, but they still struggle to learn what causes its swirl of reddish hues.

3. Time for That Close-Up 

Juno will fly over the Great Red Spot about 12 minutes after the spacecraft makes the closest approach to Jupiter of its current orbit at 6:55 p.m. on July 10, PDT (9:55 p.m. on July 10, EDT; 1:55 a.m. on July 11, Universal Time). Juno entered orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016.

4. Oh, So Mysterious 

Understanding the Great Red Spot is not easy, and it’s mostly Jupiter’s fault. The planet a thousand times as big as Earth and consists mostly of gas. A liquid ocean of hydrogen surrounds its core, and the atmosphere consists mostly of hydrogen and helium. That translates into no solid ground (like we have on Earth) to weaken storms. Also, Jupiter’s clouds make it hard to gather clear observations of its lower atmosphere. 

This false-color image of Jupiter was taken on May 18, 2017, with a mid-infrared filter centered at a wavelength of 8.8 microns, at the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii, in collaboration with observations of Jupiter by NASA’s Juno mission. Credit: NAOJ/NASA/JPL-Caltech

5. Help From Hawaii 

To assist Juno’s investigation of the giant planet’s atmosphere, Earth-based telescopes lent their helpful eyes. On May 18, 2017, the Gemini North telescope and the Subaru Telescope—both located on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea peak—simultaneously examined Jupiter in very high resolutions at different wavelengths. These latest observations helped provide information about the Great Red Spot’s atmospheric dynamics at different depths and at other regions of Jupiter.

6. Curious Observations 

Observations from Subaru showed the Great Red Spot “had a cold and cloudy interior increasing toward its center, with a periphery that was warmer and clearer,” said Juno science team member Glenn Orton of our Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. “A region to its northwest was unusually turbulent and chaotic, with bands that were cold and cloudy, alternating with bands that were warm and clear.”

This composite, false-color infrared image of Jupiter reveals haze particles over a range of altitudes, as seen in reflected sunlight. It was taken using the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii on May 18, 2017, in collaboration with observations of Jupiter by our Juno mission. Credits: Gemini Observatory/AURA/NSF/NASA/JPL-Caltech

7. Hot in Here 

Scientists were stumped by a particular question: Why were the temperatures in Jupiter’s upper atmosphere comparable to those found at Earth, even though Jupiter is more than five times the distance from the sun? If the sun isn’t the heat source, then what is? Turns out, the storm in the Great Red Spot produces two kinds of turbulent energy waves that collide and heat the upper atmosphere. Gravity waves are much like how a guitar string moves when plucked, while acoustic waves are compressions of the air (sound waves). Heating in the upper atmosphere 500 miles (800 kilometers) above the Great Red Spot is thought to be caused by a combination of these two wave types “crashing,” like ocean waves on a beach.

8. Color Theory 

Scientists don’t know exactly how the Great Red Spot’s rich colors formed. Studies predict Jupiter’s upper atmosphere has clouds consisting of ammonia, ammonium hydrosulfide, and water, but it’s still unclear how or even whether these chemicals react. “We’re talking about something that only makes up a really tiny portion of the atmosphere,” said Amy Simon, an expert in planetary atmospheres at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “That’s what makes it so hard to figure out exactly what makes the colors that we see.” Over at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, researchers concluded that the ruddy color is likely a product of simple chemicals being broken apart by sunlight in the planet’s upper atmosphere. “Our models suggest most of the Great Red Spot is actually pretty bland in color, beneath the upper cloud layer of reddish material,” said Kevin Baines, a Cassini scientist at JPL.

9. Been There, Haven’t Seen That 

In January and February 1979, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft zoomed toward Jupiter, capturing images of the Great Red Spot during its approach. Still, we’ve never been as close as we’re about to get during Juno’s flyover on July 10.

10. Simply Beautiful 

This image of a crescent Jupiter and the iconic Great Red Spot was created by a citizen scientist, Roman Tkachenko, using data from Juno’s JunoCam instrument. JunoCam’s raw images are available here for the public to peruse and enhance.Want to learn more? Read our full list of the 10 things to know this week about the solar system HERE.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

Juno in the Houses & where/how you'll meet your soulmate
  • Juno in the first: Love at first sight
  • Juno in the second: In your hometown
  • Juno in the third: At the local library
  • Juno in the fourth: Childhood sweethearts
  • Juno in the fifth: During vacations or leisure time
  • Juno in the sixth: A co-worker/ at work
  • Juno in the seventh: Wherever it is, it will feel like a movie scene
  • Juno in the eighth: Starting off as a sexual relationship
  • Juno in the ninth: At college or while travelling abroad
  • Juno in the tenth: At a social gathering
  • Juno in the eleventh: Online dating
  • Juno in the twelfth: You'll dream about them
Solar System: Things to Know This Week

Jupiter, our solar system’s largest planet, is making a good showing in night skies this month. Look for it in the southeast in each evening. With binoculars, you may be able to see the planet’s four largest moons. Here are some need-to-know facts about the King of the Planets.

1. The Biggest Planet:

With a radius of 43,440.7 miles (69,911 kilometers), Jupiter is 11 times wider than Earth. If Earth were the size of a nickel, Jupiter would be about as big as a basketball.

2. Fifth in Line

Jupiter orbits our sun, and is the fifth planet from the sun at a distance of about 484 million miles (778 million km) or 5.2 Astronomical Units (AU). Earth is one AU from the sun.

3. Short Day / Long Year

One day on Jupiter takes about 10 hours (the time it takes for Jupiter to rotate or spin once). Jupiter makes a complete orbit around the sun (a year in Jovian time) in about 12 Earth years (4,333 Earth days).

4. What’s Inside?

Jupiter is a gas-giant planet without a solid surface. However, the planet may have a solid, inner core about the size of Earth.

5. Atmosphere

Jupiter’s atmosphere is made up mostly of hydrogen (H2) and helium (He).

6. Many Moons

Jupiter has 53 known moons, with an additional 14 moons awaiting confirmation of their discovery — a total of 67 moons.

7. Ringed World

All four giant planets in our solar system have ring systems and Jupiter is no exception. Its faint ring system was discovered in 1979 by the Voyager 1 mission. 

8. Exploring Jupiter:

Many missions have visited Jupiter and its system of moons. The Juno spacecraft is currently orbiting Jupiter.

9. Ingredients for Life?

Jupiter cannot support life as we know it. However, some of Jupiter’s moons have oceans underneath their crusts that might support life.

10. Did You Know?

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is a gigantic storm (about the size of Earth) that has been raging for hundreds of years.

Discover more lists of 10 things to know about our solar system HERE.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com