Jupiter’s moon Io is probably the most volcanic place within the photo voltaic system. The extreme exercise is powered by the complicated gravitational interactions between itself, the fuel large, and its fellow moons Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. NASA’s Juno mission has been finding out the inside of Jupiter for a number of years and in its prolonged mission, it started to review the Galilean moons as effectively. Now, it’s Io’s flip.
Juno will carry out an in depth flyby of Io on December 15, the primary in a sequence of 9 flybys that may happen over the subsequent yr and a half. Two of these flybys can be as shut as 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) from the volcanic floor.
“The crew is admittedly excited to have Juno’s prolonged mission embrace the examine of Jupiter’s moons. With every shut flyby, we’ve been capable of acquire a wealth of latest data,” Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton of the Southwest Analysis Institute in San Antonio mentioned in a press release. “Juno sensors are designed to review Jupiter, however we’ve been thrilled at how effectively they’ll carry out double responsibility by observing Jupiter’s moons.”
Juno noticed Ganymede in 2021 and Europa earlier this yr. Its digicam delivered the closest view of those moons in many years and its devices have been capable of present thrilling new insights into these distant worlds.
The Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) from the European House Company will examine these two icy moons intimately. Launching this yr, it can arrive in 2031. NASA’s Europa Clipper will launch subsequent yr. Juno’s information can be invaluable in offering new insights not simply of Jupiter, however the entire Jovian system.