Jupiter news 3-9-2020

Amazed as always at the quality of posts on Centauri Dreams. The depth and brilliance and insight of his posts regarding space, you would be hard pressed to find more detailed information.

So I will begin with Jupiter related. His recent post, entitled “Juno: Looking Deep into Jupiter’s Atmosphere”, proved quite a read! It would seem Jupiter is quite dry, yet the deeper you go, the more water is concentrated. Another thing, who would have thought the Galileo probe actually survived long enough have been “sending back spectrometer measurements of the amount of water it found down to almost 120 kilometers, where atmospheric pressure reached 320 pounds per square inch (22 bar)”

Quite the crush depth for a spacecraft, I’d say. Impressive.

Another recent post was titled “Calculating Life’s Possibilities on Titan” regarding the possibilities of life on Saturn’s moon, Titan.

I won’t go into details, as you should read his work for yourself, and I would be doing him an insult, and disservice to cut and paste quotes from his work. I can only link to it, and *strongly* recommend you peruse and explore his entire body of work. This is strong science, and deserves recognition. Heavy reading, but it’s in terms most people can digest.

Not much new news coming from Jupiter’s moon, IO. However, I came across some neat true color images and related article that were worth the linking to.

And that’s the short list of Jupiter news this week!

Jupiter is ignored by NASA

Yea, not a lot of Jupiter news lately, so let us round some up.

Lets start with the basics, the WIKI of missions to the outer planets. Yea, We all have read about the space probes sent past it, I would link it all of them – but the wiki has it.

What interests me is the Juno mission (Wiki) and what is discovered. It is still in orbit, so lets see what NASA has to say. I was suprised to find the wiki lacking in information so I tried the NASA Juno information.

That was also surprisingly…lacking. There is a link to current operations, but again lacking, Its just a timeline. Some nice background information and even a mission timer that keeps ticking, but it seems to be mostly a summary. However, it seems to be the best summary I can locate (at the moment).

However it ends with :

“On Feb. 12, 2019, at 9:25 a.m. PST (12:25 p.m. EST) as the spacecraft performed its 17th science flyby of Jupiter, an image of a cyclonic storm in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere was captured showing bright white cloud tops popping up in and around the arms of the rotating storm. At the time, Juno was about 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) from the planet’s cloud tops.”

“The Juno spacecraft remains fully operational and continues to gather data at Jupiter.”

So that’s all we really have, in the end.

Here is what is confusing, there is no definition of the end of mission. When you search it, there are 2 conflicting reports – one says yea, de-orbit in 2021, another ‘official’ doc says end of life was in 1998. Is it still in orbit? are the batteries dead? Did radiation kill it? Whats the real story? According to NASA, its already done and the website has not been updated in over a year. Ask where is Juno now, last update is 1999 for top results. Even NASA’s page is useless. Admittedly, I probably missed a few things, So if your are researching it, I would use the WIKI link at the beginning of this post as your best source of correct information. Best I can tell, Juno is spiraling in to de-orbit, but it is apparently alive and working.

If you are really interested, ask the actual Juno team. , member of the Southwest Research Institute. They know where their spacecraft is.

I just thought it odd about the lack of current, agreeable data on the project.

Perhaps it’s related to something mysterious on Europa.